Long Island Power Authority Launches Unified Solar Permit Initiative

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and the Nassau and Suffolk County Planning Commissions have developed a new unified solar permitting process as part of the Long Island Unified Solar Permitting Initiative (LIUSPI). This regional collaboration includes government officials, industry representatives, renewable energy advocates and LIPA as partners.

Currently, the solar installation approval process for Long Island has a different set of regulations for each town and village, which creates confusion, delays and extra costs. This new permitting process, which will cover more than 80% of residential solar systems, will reduce costs, save time and improve public safety, according to LIPA.

The permitting code waives or minimizes application fees, provides permit determinations within 14 days of submittal of a completed application, creates a new ‘Solar Energy System Fast Track Permit Application’ as an alternative to existing building permit forms, creates a central registry of solar installations, and requires warning labels on the utility meter and any AC disconnect switch, among other requirements, LIPA says.

In addition to co-authoring the new solar code, LIPA has committed to providing implementation assistance of $15,000 to each township and $5,000 to each of the first ten villages in Nassau and in Suffolk that adopts the authorizing legislation sufficient to accomplish the five key components of the LIUSPI plan by Dec. 31.

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