LIPA Seeks Public Comment on Energy Plans

Plans for future energy generation on the East End to meet growing power needs are on the Long Island Power Authority's agenda, with key decisions to be made this spring, and renewable energy advocates are urging residents to speak out at a LIPA board of trustees meeting on Wednesday.

After issuing a request for proposals for power solutions for eastern Long Island, the trustees have received some two dozen responses: proposals ranging from the construction of new energy plants using everything from diesel-powered generators -- "outdated technologies," according to green energy advocates -- to solutions using "next-generation technologies," such as offshore wind turbines.

At the meeting on Wednesday, and at another on March 16, the LIPA board will listen to comments from the public about the region's energy future.
"It is in our interest to have as many of us from the East End there to make very clear that we want to move forward, not backward," advocates said in an email distributed this week by Don Matheson, a member of the Long Island East chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby. "We do not want to build infrastructure that locks us in to burning fossil fuels for years to come, when clean, efficient, and economical alternatives are being offered."

The group urged speakers to tell the LIPA board that community members here would fight the construction of fossil-fueled electrical "peaker" plants and to underscore East Hampton Town's commitment, as outlined in energy goals adopted by the town board in 2014, to meet electricity consumption demands here with renewable energy sources by 2020.

"This hearing is our chance to prevent another fiasco like the recently installed huge penta-treated poles going through our residential neighborhoods," the email said.

The meeting will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at LIPA headquarters at 333 Earle Ovington Boulevard in Uniondale, on the fourth floor.