By Janee Law
Solarize Huntington, a pilot program to get more solar energy systems installed across the township, more than doubled expectations after concluding in October, according to program officials.
The Town of Huntington partnered with Sustainable CUNY, part of the City University of New York, to launch Solarize Huntington, which was Long Island’s first solar system group-purchasing program. Both the town’s Advisory Committee on Energy Efficiency, Renewables and Sustainability and New York Solar Smart Program also helped organize the program.
“Huntington was pleased to have partnered with Sustainable CUNY on Long Island’s first solarize program,” Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said in an email. "Huntington always tries to be in the forefront of initiatives encouraging energy conservation and sustainability.”
Over a six-month period, 63 systems were installed across the town, more than doubling an expected goal of 25-30 sales, according to Brandon Hart, program manager for Direct Energy Solar, a Maryland-based solar provider that won the bid to spearhead the program. The systems amount to 570 kilowatts of power, also surpassing an initial goal of 250 kilowatts of power.
“This was certainly a success. We were all very happy with the success of this program,” Hart said.
The program offered buyers solar systems at reduced rates of 25-30 percent. Residents who bought in hail from Centerport, Commack, Dix Hills, Greenlawn, Halesite, Huntington, Huntington Station, Melville, Northport and East Northport, which topped the list of installation with 12.
With the success of the program, other areas on Long Island, like Brookhaven and North Hempstead are taking part in the initiative, according to Hart.
Petrone commented on this, stating that “we take pride that other towns in Nassau and Suffolk are replicating it.”
A.J. Carter, Town of Huntington spokesman, said in an email Friday that Huntington’s Advisory Committee on Energy Efficiency, Renewables and Sustainability has been considering the recommendation of another program similar to Solarize Huntington, but “there is nothing concrete on the horizon.”