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Go Hamptons: Southampton Raises Bar To Energy Star-Level On Commercial Buildings

The Hamptons: beautiful and still comparatively unspoiled in parts and near enough to Amagansett’s “Lunch” restaurant and the great St. Peter’s Catch Fish Store and Channing Daughters winery and a bunch of other cool things that it’s hard not to like it. While neither Stephen nor I spends much time in the Hamptons (you’ve probably guessed that I’ve logged some off-season time in Montauk), we have spent some time on Southampton at gbNYC, thanks to some extraordinary green buildings and a solar-powered pool and a forward-thinking bit of legislation from last year that held all new construction residential buildings in Southampton to Energy Star standards. Which is pretty great for a bunch of reasons, and is made that much greater by the announcement that they’re now mandating the same standard for commercial buildings. In the Southampton News, Jessica DiNapoli reports on the discussion leading up to the writing of the amendment back in early February, and finds things surprisingly civil, logical and forward-thinking.

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Go Downtown: Long Island Index Suggests Denser, Greener Lawn-Gilan

Urban density is a guarantor of efficiency. It doesn’t necessarily feel like Manhattan is a terribly green place — not when you’ve got buses belching in your face, not when the air smells like garbage and bad Chinese food — but those facts of life in New York ensure that no one drives, everyone takes mass transit and walks, and that our living spaces are (generally) small and thus inexpensively heated and cooled. That unconscious efficiency is what makes New York City’s per-capita carbon footprint so stunningly small, but the discomforts described above are also the sort of things that send people sprawling towards notably less efficient suburbs and exurbs. Sure, there are lawns there, but by just about every measurable metric, places like Long Island are hugely un-green. The newly released Long Island Index, funded by the Rauch Foundation, has what looks like a counterintuitive suggestion on how to ameliorate that. Which is that Long Island needs to get denser.

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Long Island Power Authority to Seek Stimulus Dollars for 50 Megawatts of Green Power

Governor Paterson last Friday announced the results of an RFP that the state issued in April of 2008 for a solar power project on Long Island. BP Solar will build a 36.9 megawatt facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory and enXco a 13.1 megawatt series of installations across public and private properties in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. 50 megawatts of solar power would triple New York State’s current capacity and serve 6500 residential LIPA customers annually. NYSERDA has already given LIPA $15 million for the project while it negotiates power purchase agreements (“PPAs”) with BP and enXco; these agreements typically run for twenty (20) years and contemplate the PPA provider (here, BP and enXco) selling the electricity generated by the installation to a utility company during the course of the agreement. LIPA will make the terms of these particular PPAs available once executed. According to, LIPA is attempting to secure stimulus dollars for the project. Note that the project would be eligible for the federal solar power tax credit (extended under TARP through the end of 2016) provided that it is operational before December 31, 2016; the available credit is equal to 30 percent of the cost of the installation and there is no maximum credit limit.

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