Category Archives: News

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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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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Push for Solar Jobs Act of 2011

Last week both Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) and the New York  League of Conservative Voters (NYLCV)  announced their intentions to push the Solar Industry Development and Jobs Act of 2011.

Introduced by Assembly Member Steve Englebright, the bill aims to meet 5,000 megawatts of solar energy produced in the state by 2025. The bill’s plan is progressive, requiring retail electrical suppliers to annually up their  sale of solar starting with a minimum of .05% in 2013 and increasing each year until reaching 2.5% in 2025. 

If implimented, the bill is estimated to create 22,000 jobs and roughly $500 million in annual wages.

 The bill in its entirety can be read here. To encourage your elected officials to take action, visit this web site and send them an email.

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Attainable Green Homes Competition announced

A joint partnership between the Town of Babylon, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), the United Way of Long Island (UWLI) and the U.S. Green Building Council Long Island Chapter (USGBC-LI) was recently forged to host the inaugural Attainable Green Home Competition.

Announced with a press conference earlier this year, the competition, which is open to both professionals and students, aims to design a single-family home that is affordable to build and maintain while also addressing issues of sustainability, efficiency and environmental design.

The Town of Babylon will donated property in Wyndanch for the winning design to be build upon, the UWLI will construct the project, LIPA will provide expertise regarding energy efficiency, and the USGBC-LI will assist the winning design team to make sure the home is LEED certified (Gold or higher).

Designs entered will be judged on the following criteria: architecture, market appeal, innovation and energy use, affordability, sustainability, constructability, and repeatability, or the ease of which the design can be applied to different sites.

Registration for the competition opened January 31 and will May 20. The deadline for design submission is June 3. All entries must summed through the competitions web site, www.attainableli.com.

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A look at prep classes offered for the LEED Green Associate exam

Interested in pursuing a ‘green job,’ but don’t know where to start? Perhaps becoming a LEED Green Associate is a good first step.

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reLI February Newsletter

Renewable Energy Long Island (reLI), a leading not-for-profit organization that promotes clean, sustainable energy recently published its February newsletter. Within the monthly newsletter you will find FREE ENERGY AUDITS! That’s right, at least for those that qualify for them through NYSERDA’s Green Jobs – Green new York program.

Also in this months newsletter, eco-friendly gifts for Valentine’s Day, the announcement of the upcoming screening of “Gasland”, a radio interview with reLI Executive Director Gordian Raacke, and more. View the newsletter here.

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Mercury Solar morphing into clean-tech. giant on Long Island

Tucked behind the SunVet Mall in the last office front of a strip of offices on Broadway Avenue in Holbrook is the Long Island branch of Mercury Solar. From the outside the brick facade doesn’t look like much, but inside the office houses one of the fastest growing solar companies in the northeast.

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