SUFFOLK COUNTY

A roadmap to implement more solar

Nature Conservancy takes a look at low-impact areas

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The Nature Conservancy and Defenders of Wildlife want to help government officials implement meaningful solar infrastructure—without disturbing natural areas or prime farmland.

Their recent March report, “The Long Island Solar Roadmap” and interactive online map, points out specific areas where Long Island can produce more solar electricity than the region uses all year by developing solar arrays on low-impact areas such as parking lots, capped landfills, and commercial building rooftops.

Maps are included for each city and town in Nassau and Suffolk.

Brookhaven Town is listed as having the potential of hosting as much as 3,634 megawatts of solar capacity, enough to power more than 910,800 New York residences. The town is home to 17 square miles of low-impact sites consisting of parking lots, rooftops, and areas previously altered by human activities. It has the highest siting potential in Suffolk County for ground-mounted, parking lot and rooftop installations.

Brookhaven’s five top hamlets south of Sunrise Highway for rooftop-low density, rooftop-high density and parking lot sites include East Moriches, Shirley, Center Moriches, East Patchogue and Brookhaven.

Islip Town has the potential to host as much as 1,957 megawatts of solar capacity, enough to power more than 490,400 New York residences. The town is home to 9.1 square miles of low-impact sites, consisting of parking lots, rooftops and areas previously altered or impacted by human activity.

Islip has the third-highest total potential for low-impact solar siting in Suffolk County. It has the second-highest installation potential for both rooftop and parking lot solar in Suffolk County.

Islip’s five top hamlets south of Sunrise Highway for rooftop-low density, rooftop-high density and parking lot sites include West Bay Shore, Sayville, West Islip, Bay Shore and East Islip.

According to Jessica Price, renewable strategy lead for the Nature Conservancy in New York, the towns of Hempstead, North Hempstead, Huntington, Long Beach and East Hampton were all involved in the development of the Solar Roadmap.

“Since its release in early March, there have been continued conversations with the utility and local officials across Nassau and Suffolk,” Price said in an email. “Meetings with town supervisors are still being scheduled, but at the end of the day, for these sorts of projects to become a reality, what is most impactful is a strong base of support.”

Price noted the Nature Conservancy with New Yorkers for Clean Power just released a clean-energy toolkit to help people build support locally for clean-energy projects.”

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