In July 2019, New York State adopted the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which mandates that 70% of the state’s electricity is generated from renewable resources by 2030 and 100% of electricity from carbon-free sources by 2040. Achieving these mandates will require stakeholders to come together to remove barriers to renewable energy development.
The Long Island Solar Roadmap aims to advance deployment of mid- to large-scale solar power on Long Island in a way that minimizes environmental impacts, maximizes benefits to the region, and expands access to solar energy. The Roadmap’s creation was led by The Nature Conservancy and Defenders of Wildlife and supported by a diverse group of Long Island stakeholders.
The Roadmap identifies low-impact sites for commercial and utility-scale solar arrays and shows their energy generation potential. Results show that Long Island has enough low-impact sites — large rooftops, parking lots, and previously disturbed lands — for locating nearly 19,500 megawatts of solar without impacting forests, wetlands, and other ecologically important areas. That’s enough solar energy capacity to power 4.8 million New York homes per year.
What’s more, public opinion research conducted as part of the Roadmap shows that the vast majority (92%) of Long Islanders surveyed support mid- to large-scale solar energy development in their communities. More than just an inventory of potential low-impact sites, the report serves as a roadmap for the collective actions required of a variety of stakeholders to realize Long Island’s solar potential. The Roadmap recommends eight strategies for supporting mid- to-large-scale solar power on Long Island. Each strategy is accompanied by a set of actions, including economic interventions, programs, policies, or practices, for achieving the strategy.