SUMMARY REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE ON ENCOURAGING THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOLAR ENERGY ON LONG ISLAND

April 26, 2002 - 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


A Copy of the Detailed Scheduled Program Attached

Registration and continental breakfast started around 8:00 a.m.

By 9:00 a.m. more than 150 participants were in attendance.

Welcome address was given by Dr. John Burkart, Provost, SUNY Farmingdale who called upon all participants to exchange ideas to promote solar energy and to evolve strategies to overcome barriers. He assured the audience that the college through the Solar Energy Center (SEC) would be an effective conduit for all issues on solar energy and other alternative forms of energy.

The welcome was followed by the keynote address by Mr. Gregory Kiss, an accomplished architect and a partner of Kiss + Cathcart Inc., an architectural firm of New York City. He gave a brief historical perspective of how the technology has changed gradually on using solar energy either in solar thermal or solar electric fields. He presented many examples of both large and small-scale projects involving use of solar energy. He focussed on high rise and commercial building design integrating solar technology to make the building almost zero energy buildings. He finally called upon fellow architects to use integration of solar technology without compromising on the comfort, convenience of customers at a very affordable price.

The panel discussions got started. All the panel presentations were moderated by Mr. Richard Michaud of the Department of Energy of the Boston Regional Office.

The first panel was on Potential of PV on Long Island and the PV sites on Long Island.

 

Panelists: Dr. Richard Perez SUNY Albany

Prof. Harry Dathatri SUNY FARMINGDALE

 

Dr. Richard Perez of SUNY Albany, who talked on potential of solar energy on Long Island. He explicitly disproved some of the misconceptions on solar energy. A. No sun B. No space C. No reliability D. High cost. He used satellite imaging and actual load conditions specifically in the New York Metropolitan area. Also, he briefly discussed the incentives, which make solar energy more affordable. Professor Dathatri of the Solar Energy Center presented a virtual tour of some of the P.V. Installations in New York State and particularly on Long Island under the solar pioneer program.

The next panel was on Incentives and funding for the use of P.V.

 

Panelists: Jeff Peterson - NYSERDA

Carolyn Jaskot - LIPA.

 

Jeff Peterson highlighted several programs funded through NYSERDA. He also stressed on a new program of one million dollars to develop an accredited training institution and master trainers in New York State. SEC is one of the leading candidates in this effort. The focus at present of this grant is photovoltaics. During questions/discussion he mentioned that it included possible funding for other technologies. Some of the programs listed were A. Residential P.V. energy Star homes energy star subdivisions B. Commercial: Installation market, new construction program, P.V. on buildings 5 million. C. NY State Solar Schools - P.V. teaching and demonstrations $1.75 million initiative.. For more program details visit their website at www.nyserda.org. Additional initiatives: Executive order 111 by Governor of New York State funded agencies and NY State Buildings to have 10% green power by 2005 and 20% green power by 2011. K-12 Public/Private school program

 

Carolyn Jaskot of LIPA highlighted the financial incentives and features of solar pioneer program

The next panel consisted of the following: Topic: Role of developers, builders, engineers and architects.

 

Panelists: Bill Siegal - New Age Builders

Bill Chaleff - Chaleff and Rogers

Bill Siegel discussed home energy rating system and measuring efficiencies. Advocacy of the energy star system of 1 to 5 stars for homes was discussed. Discussed options for improving energy efficiency.

Bill Chaleff discussed the concept of sustainable architecture by looking at indigenous builder climate, construction technologies and social factors. He highlighted benchmarks like (Leeds) leadership in energy efficiency design energy star. He stressed the importance of low energy use design. Passive solar, super insulation suntempered balance with thermal mass. He illustrated all his points through slides but the time available for discussion was limited.

The next panel discussed the topic on Zoning Laws, building code and national electric code for P.V.

 

Panelists: Kenneth Kramer - Architect

James Smith - NY Board of Fire Underwriters

 

Kenneth Kramer highlighted the importance of green buildings both from a design point of view and integration point of view. He discussed the procedure to file papers with LIPA and local zoning and architectural review boards. He stressed the importance of finding out what is required documentation and how the solar contractor to provide information. It is important to demonstrate the safety of these new systems. Education in building departments on this new technology is important. Use licensed electrician in the town. Know who the inspecting governing party is. Finally file back with LIPA. Building code is generally the NY State Building code. Know from the engineer any special interpretation.

 

James Smith of the NY Board of Fire Underwriters discussed main issues with Article 690 of national electric code. Most towns and villages use this code primarily to ensure safety. He stressed the aspect that the code gives the minimum required. But it is always better to exceed these requirements.

 

A lunch break was taken for about 45 minutes during which time participants networked and visited the vendor booths set up. See list of vendors at the end of the report.

 

The afternoon started with a panel discussion on "Inspection issues regarding P.V. Installations."

Panelists: Joe Rocco - Applied Energy Group

James Smith - NY Board of Fire Underwriters

Joe Rocco presented the results of a compilation on building permitting required by various towns and villages on Long Island. He highlighted how the process is different in different towns. He mentioned the key issue to solve many permitting problems and delays is to educate the building inspectors and submission of suitable drawings to the Town Boards. Many towns require site survey with parcels drawn, tax bill, architect stamp of approval for safety, workers compensation certificate for contractor, electrical inspection. Defining clearly the system with racks and mounting fixtures, no roof penetration, no plumbing requirement, able to withstand wind load would satisfy many of the town Building Departments.

 

Invited Speaker:

Richard Kessel, Chairman of LIPA was invited to speak to the participants on the role of LIPA in shaping the energy future on Long Island with respect to alternative forms of energy particularly P. V.. He delivered and extemporaneous presentation outlining the goals and objectives of LIPA with respect to PV and other alternate energy sources. Though on the books LIPA will go to $4/watt rebate from $6/watt rebate effective August 1, 2002, LIPA will examine how soon they can return back to $6 /watt rebate. He highlighted the recent study on potential of wind energy offshore of Long Island as also the battery of fuel cells performing satisfactorily in a sub-station in Babylon Town. LIPA will attempt to have 10% of its energy coming from alternative energy sources. LIPA will work with municipalities and towns to evolve a standardized code for PV Installation. He also focussed on conservation measures and the LIPA Edge Program. In replying to a suggestion from the audience regarding bulk purchase of PV units using LIPA buying power, he said he will initiate steps to examine this issue. The positive comments and approach by LIPA chairman was very well received by the audience.

 

The next panel was on "Manufacturer's Perspectives on Potential Problems"

 

Panelists: Jeff Calabro - Kyocera Solar

Peter DiNapoli - Shell Solar (formerly Siemans Solar)

 

Mr. Calabro focussed on several issues providing detailed information for inspections, providing incentive programs through utilities and state agencies, reducing costs/price to consumer, and training and education for inspectors and installers.

 

Mr. DeNapoli highlighted their strategies for reducing price and issues of brand name and reliability. He mentioned that their earth safe system is the only U/L listed system while others have U/L listing for individual sub-systems. One of the main stumbling blocks in promoting solar energy is proper marketing and "getting the message out."

 

The next panel discussion was on "Interconnection Issues".

 

Panelists: Andris Garsils - Keyspan Energy

Michael Worden - NY State Public Service Commission

 

Mr. Garsils elaborated on the process followed for connecting PV systems on to the utility grid. He also mentioned the drawbacks of PV like high costs, low market penetration, reliability and availability. How some of these issues would affect the communication and control of a utility grid designed primarily as a one way device in comparison to a situation where distributed generation will dominate a local area. He mentioned if some key technical problems are addressed distributed generation using P.V. would be an important method to supplement the present systems.

Mr. Worden cited the steps taken by the Public Service Commission to evolve a suitable Interconnection Agreement. In the coming years PSC would take up larger system interconnection issues with clearer guidelines evolved by discussions and deliberations. One of the key elements of the interconnection requirements is U/L listing and meeting IEEE 929 standards

 

The final panel was on "P.V. Installers and Contractors' Perspectives on Potential and Problems".

 

Panelists: Dr. Gay Canough - ETM Solar Works

Richard Eidlin - Solarworks

Hugh Whitenack - Hugh Electric Inc.

 

Dr. Canough narrated the problems faced by the installers and contractors. Bouncing rebate turns off consumers. Educating town boards and building departments poses a major challenge. Interconnection issue is like a moving target with each utility following it's own policies and requiring anything they feel like. Cost of systems generally means very little as consumers do not buy many items based on payback. Role of aesthetics to be addressed by manufacturers.

Richard Eidlin and Hugh Whitenack focussed on forums with solar opponents, training programs for code inspectors, marketing and pushing for federal tax incentives.

 

Future Steps:

The next phase of discussions focussed on the future steps:

  1. Involving Con-Edison and other utility companies of NY State in future conferences.
  2. This type of conference to be an annual event.
  3. Evolve training program for code inspectors.
  4. Evolve marketing program for trained installers and contractors.
  5. Focus on few topics for the conference.
  6. Follow up on the statements of LIPA chairman.
  7. Evolve a public education and awareness policy and focus it on the K-12 program.
  8. Organize field trips to unique P.V. sites during the next conference
  9. Involve media in a larger way in future events.

 

Vendors:

The following is the list of vendors present during the conference.

  1. Shell Solar (formerly Siemens Solar)
  2. Kyocera Solar
  3. Terra Solar
  4. Nextek Power Systems Inc.
  5. Solar Works.
  6. Go Solar
  7. Astro Power
  8. Institute of Sustainable Development - L.I. University C. W. Post Southampton Campus

 

Organizers:

Conference was sponsored by Department of Energy.

Organized by:

Solar Energy Center SUNY Farmingdale

Institute of Sustainable Development L.I. University C. W. Post Southampton Campus

Long Island Shines/Citizens Advisory Panel

LIPA

The organizers are highly thankful to the moderator, all panelists,vendors and participants who made the conference successful.

 

 

 

 

SOLAR LONG ISLAND 2002

Conference on Encouraging the Development of Solar Energy on Long Island

Friday, April 26, 2002

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS

 

Question # 1. - Which presentation did you find most interesting?

Keynote - 8

LIPA Chairman - 14

P.V. Installations on L.I.

Building Permit Requirements

All were informative - 6

Bill Chaleff - 5

Bill Siegal - 2

Richard Perez

 

Question # 2. - What did you like least.

Too many panelists without enough time for questions

Too much time by keynote speaker

Carolyn Jaskot: Boring & dull , Gay: Uninformative and scattered

Carolyn Jaskot: Presentation lacking, comments very informative

Started too late and trying to catch up

Not enough time for each speaker

None - 3

Rules and regulations for systems

Afternoon seemed drawn-out

NY State PSC

 

Question # 3 - Which topic of the symposium did you feel was not sufficiently discussed.

Building codes and electrical codes - 2

How to encourage widespread acceptance of technologies

Cost to the consumer of PV and payback

Local PV project owners

What Utility can do to improve their output without adding additional plants

Marketing/selling of solar - 3

Update on technology and production - 3

D.C. usage on site

Question # 4 - Were the presentations-

Too long - 2

Okay - 27

Too short - 4

Really good - 1

Too many - 1

 

Question # 5 - Could you hear the presenters easily.

Yes - 34

No - 1

Somewhat - 1

 

Question # 6 - Were you able to read slides and other visual materials during presentations.

Yes - 31

No -3

 

Question # 7 - What did you think of printed program.

Somewhat lacking - 2

Very good - 21

Great - 2

Excellent - 3

Informative

More current information on Long Island's individual town requirement

 

Question # 8 - What suggestions can you offer for improving the next conference.

Time schedule - 4

More time to network - 2

Clear arithmetical analysis - 2

Working groups - 2

Longer Q & A period

Door Prizes

More vendors and Demos

Have printing of presentations

Less Speakers or more time - 2

Question 8 Responses (Continued)

 

Can almost make it a 2-day conference

Registration list absolutely necessary

Field Trip

Invite media

Team discussions on Topics

Invite Con Edison and NYC building Department

More Oxygen

No cell phones in lecture hall encourage green meals program

 

Question # 9 - What topics would you like to see discussed in future conferences.

Wind, fuel cell, green building - 2

How citizens can band together to force favorable conditions for solar

Ways to reward consumption

Zoning board session

Conference on supporting renewables - 2

How to get started

Clean up of current generating system

Importance of passive solar - 3

More manufacturers

Con Edison NYC

More on marketing

Re-do and update this it will evolve over time

How can we bring more systems to market

New technologies/methodologies that are pushing the industry forward - 4

Better usage of D.C. power onsite

Power companies buy solar panels in bulk

 

Question # 10 - Do you have any background in a field related to the conference topic.

Yes energy efficient home builder - 2

Electrical contracting - 4

Sales and Marketing

Electricians - 3

Solar community garden

P.V. Integrator - 2

Engineering - 2

Question 10 responses (Continued):

 

Environmental, IAQ - 2

Architect/Builder/NYS Building Code Enforcement Official

Solar Golf Carts

Building Inspector - 3

 

 

Question # 11 - Is there anything you would add or change about the program.

Time schedule for each speaker

Bring more reps from building inspector offices and town councilman - 2

Less speakers

No

Better Lunch

Breakout Sessions

Show new ideas and ways to utilize the panels by applications on all types of homes - 2

Create easy to use brochures as to why go solar

Two half days might be better

Field Trips

 

Question # 12 - How did you find out about the conference

Letter/Flier - 26

SUNY Farmingdale WEB

Other Website - 2

Fellow Associate - 4

Other: Professor Dathatri, Friend, E-mail

 

 

 

Question # 13 - Any additional comments:

Great Start - 4

A good conference and good start - 2 - Next conference will have more success

Thanks very much, keep up the good work - 3

Great conference, thank you

Better food choices without salt and oil

Great Job - 2

I hope Richard Kessel keeps his word

Question 13 Responses (Continued)

 

Role of solar energy center with PV community

Invite news media

Must continue educational values of all alternative energy

A microphone for audience questions

Start on time and get better displays

This conference was well planned and organized

 

 Back to School of Engineering Technologies Home Page

 Back to Farmingdale Campus Home Page

Last Update: June 21, 2002