Local Habitat for Humanity Helps International effort be Named a Top Ten Builder

Habitat for Humanity Suffolk (HFHS) earned the distinction of helping Habitat for Humanity International to become one of the nation’s top ten builders. HFHS ranks in the top ten percent of Habitat for Humanity affiliates nation-wide. With the help of HFHS, Habitat for Humanity was named sixth on the Builder 100 list by Builder’s Magazine, marking the second time the nonprofit has been among the top 10 biggest builders in the United States.

HFHS has built homes in every town in Suffolk County except for Smithtown. The Habitat program is strong in Suffolk and has been able to continue its mission despite the down turn in the economy through the support of Suffolk County and the towns where land has been made available. Since 1987, HFHS has built 147 houses, and is on track to build another 12 next year.

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reLI May newsletter

Renewable Energy Long Island (reLI), a leading not-for-profit organization that promotes clean, sustainable energy recently published its May newsletter.

Within the monthly newsletter you will find buzz regarding the possibility of an offshore wind farm in the waters near Long Island; a guide to local produce; a huge solar incentive for schools and government buildings courtesy of NYPA; a list of upcoming events – including speaking engagement that will have 350.org’s in Manhasset on May 25 – plus more.

View the newsletter here.

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NYSERDA Introduces Program to Support Fuel Cell Use

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced an incentive program for businesses, hospitals or other large power consumers interested in installing fuel cells.

The technology allows users to generate some of their own power with clean-energy technology, using less energy from the electric grid.

NYSERDA’s Customer-Sited Tier Fuel Cell Program will provide as much as $21.6 million through 2015. The program provides an incentive toward the cost of fuel cell installation, plus payments over the first three years of operation based on power produced.

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NYSERDA Solar and Wind Workshop at Stony Brook, May 11

The Stony Brook Small Business Development Center will host the fourth installment of its NYSERDA series featuring Renewable Energy on Wednesday, May 11.

Dubbed, “Solar and Wind,” the workshop will run from 8: 30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will take place in the CEWIT Building, second floor, on  the Stony Brook University campus.

The morning program on solar energy features David Schieren of EmPower Solar Energy Solutions, Dan Connors of Renewable Energy Strategies, LLC, Wyldon King Kisherman of New York Solar Energy Society and Robert Holz of SunEnergy Americas, Inc.

The afternoon program on wind energy features Gordian Raacke of Renewable Energy Long Island, Carol Murphy of Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Inc., Dan Zaweski of Long Island Power Authority, Tim Daniels  of Deepwater Wind, LLC and Al Harsch of GreenLogic Energy, Inc.

A question and answer session will follow both the morning and afternoon programs.

To register, call 631-632-9837 or email sbdc@stonybrook.edu. Preregistration and a printed meal ticket are required.

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Huntington’s Rona Fried a ‘green’ Internet Pioneer

Entrepreneur and environmentalist aren’t the most commonly associated words, but Rona Fried knows how to bring them together.

The Huntington resident, who has a habit of doing battle against locally invasive plants, is the founder and president of one of the top green business websites on the Internet, SustainableBusiness.com. She is also a nationally respected voice regarding green investing, publishing a monthly online newsletter on the subject, Progressive Investor, as well as contributing an “Investing in Clean Energy” column for each edition of Solar Today, the American Solar Energy Society’s flagship publication.

She selects the stocks for the Nasdaq OMX Green Economy Index, a stock index that tracks all the publicly traded green companies worldwide, and sits on the advisory board of four clean energy indexes.

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NYSERDA Earns EPA Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) with a 2011 ENERGY STAR  Sustained Excellence Award on Tuesday, April 12, for its continued leadership in protecting the environment through energy efficiency.

The 2011 Sustained Excellence Awards are given to a select group of organizations that have exhibited outstanding leadership year after year. Winners have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving aggressive goals, employing innovative approaches, and showing others what can be achieved through energy efficiency.

This award recognizes NYSERDA’s ongoing leadership across the ENERGY STAR program, including energy-efficient products, services, new homes and buildings in the commercial, industrial and public sectors.

Here’s a look at NYSERDA’s 2010 highlights:

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Smithtown Church installs 10k Solar System

Just over a year ago the St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Smithtown started kicking around the idea of installing a new roof. At the time, a young female member saw the project as an opportunity to install solar panels as well. Hearing the idea, Bob Reimertz, vestry member and the head of building and grounds for the church, had an all to familiar reaction to going solar.

The St. Thomas of Canterbury Church on Brooksite Drive in Smithtown installed this 10k PV system in late March.

“I said to myself, ‘you got to be kidding me. That’s like 60,000 dollars,’” recalled Mr. Reimertz. “Then I started doing research. The more research I did, finding out about the rebates, I said, ‘we can do this and never pay electric again.’”

With Mr. Reimertz’s legwork, and funding from the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, St. Thomas of Canterbury took action on never paying for electric again with the installation of a 48-panel, 10,000 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the south side of the church. After more than a week of dealing with foul weather, the panels were raised to the roof Wednesday, April 5.

“This is a fantastic thing for our church, for Smithtown, and for the surrounding community,” Mr. Reimertz said. “I figured out that the amount of energy in one year’s time we will save equals the amount of fumes a car emits after driving 12,000 miles.”

According to Mr. Reimertz, the project cost a little over $55,000, just about half of which ($27,500) is covered by a Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) solar rebate. Currently, LIPA offers rebates of $1.75 per kilowatt up to 10,000 kilowatts through its solar pioneer program. Since churches are exempt from state and federal taxes and not eligible for solar project tax rebates, St. Thomas of Canterbury received an enhanced rebate rate from LIPA of $2.75 per kilowatt.

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