Clean Power

Published on March 7th, 2012 | by Andrew


Tioga Energy-BJ’s Wholesale Club Solar Energy Partnership Highlights Success of Federal, State Renewable Energy Support

March 7th, 2012 by  

Photo courtesy of EmPower Solar

The Obama Administration’s been taking a lot of flak regarding solar and renewable energy subsidies as some companies that received federal loan guarantees have hit the wall and gone bust. Such politically motivated criticism conveniently ignores some plain, simple facts.

Private sector businesses go bust all the time–you only need to take a look at the history of the oil and gas industry to see this. Moreover, such self-serving criticism ignores the fact that federal government support for solar, wind and renewable energy– such as that included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)– has, on balance, been an overwhelming success. Numerous examples have been reported here on Clean Technica.

Adding to the ranks of private sector clean, renewable energy businesses growing with the help of federal ARRA support is California’s Tioga Energy. Tioga today announced it has installed the first of two solar photovoltaic (PV) electric systems atop the roof of BJ’s Wholesale Club in Deerfield Park, NY. The two projects– which will bring Tioga’s installed solar PV capacity in NY to nearly 1 MW– are being carried out with incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The Power of Small Scale, Distributed Solar PV

Such projects may be small on an individual basis, but they are effective and efficient in several significant ways: they support small businesses– the largest employers in the nation– and collectively are adding significantly to US distributed energy capacity and energy self-sufficiency. Integrated with smart grid technology and electric vehicles, such small-scale projects will form the foundation of cleaner, more secure and affordable electricity system and power grid.

Tioga will sell the clean, renewable electricity generated from rooftop solar PV system to BJ’s through a 20-year SurePath Solar power purchase agreement (PPA). Long Island’s EmPower Solar provided engineering and installation services for the project.

The 249-kW solar PV project is Tioga’s fifth collaboration with BJ’s Wholesale Club and the first built and financed by Tioga in New York. All told, the two companies have installed nearly 2,000 kW in solar PV projects at BJ’s Wholesale retail outlets up and down the East Coast.

“Tioga Energy has consistently demonstrated its value as a renewable energy partner,” Kevin Moran, manager of energy at BJ’s Wholesale Club, commented. “Since our first PPA with them in 2010, Tioga has helped us pursue our corporate commitment to preserving the environment through innovative and environmentally sound programs that reduce energy consumption, such as solar.”

ARRA funding for the project flowed through NYSERDA. “NYSERDA is pleased that BJ’s Wholesale Club is continuing its investment in solar powered energy through Tioga Energy. With this type of investment in clean energy, the impact is not only beneficial for the business, but for the surrounding community and environment,” added Francis J. Murray, Jr., NYSERDA president and CEO.

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About the Author

I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.

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