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The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) says it will provide the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) with $5 million to restart its popular residential Solar Pioneer program, which had been put on hold as of Labor Day weekend. NYSERDA is providing the funding through proceeds from its Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auction.

Citing declining costs and strong demand for solar power installations and an increasing number of solar contractors in the region, LIPA has readjusted the Solar Pioneer program's rebate structure several times over the past year, including as recently as Aug. 1, to handle the increase in customer demand.  However, LIPA suspended the program due to continued high market demand and budget constraints.

"I am pleased that with this funding, the state will be able to continue assisting Long Islanders in making solar power an affordable energy option and will send a signal to the thriving solar industry across the state that we will take steps to reduce the likelihood of market disruptions," says NYSERDA Chairman Richard Kauffman. "Under Governor [Andrew] Cuomo's NY-Sun initiative, the state is committed to investing in this renewable energy resource to not only transform the solar market but to create green jobs and stimulate economic activity throughout New York."

NYSERDA recently submitted a petition to the New York State Public Service Commission seeking authorization to work with New York State Department of Public Service and LIPA staff to identify the merits and potential for greater efficiencies and success with a more coordinated statewide photovoltaic incentive program. Currently, NYSERDA and LIPA each offer separate solar incentive programs.

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