By: Claude Solnik July 31, 2015
Chicago-based renewable energy developer Invenergy, which operates wind turbines in Upstate New York as part of
a global portfolio of power generation, is seeking to build a large solar energy project on Long Island.
The firm on Thursday filed an expanded environmental assessment with the Town of Brookhaven’s Planning,
Environment and Land Management Department for its Shoreham Solar Commons project, seeking to answer
questions the town raised.
Invenergy would transform roughly 150 acres including the golf greens at the Tallgrass Golf Course into a source of
green energy in this utility-scale project, while leaving the clubhouse for community use.
The firm would build a 25 megawatt solar panel farm with between 100,000 and 110,000 photovoltaic panels,
enough to power 3,500 homes, the second largest solar panel project on Long Island and in the state.
The biggest project is at Brookhaven National Laboratory, whose 32-megawatt, 200-acre Long Island Solar Farm
produces enough power for 4,500 homes.
The firm has an option to buy the property from the DeLalio family, who owns DeLalio Sod Farms and the Tallgrass
The Long Island Power Authority in December of 2014 selected Invenergy’s project as one of the winners of a
request for proposals. The two are still negotiating the terms of a power purchase agreement.
“We feel that the project is going to be a good use of the land,” said Brad Pnazek, Invenergy’s manager of business
development. “It’s going to be a passive installation that’s well buffered with limited visual impact, delivering benefits to the community including ten times the current amount of property taxes paid on the site now.”
Invenergy already filed a roughly 100-page environmental assessment with the town’s planning department staff,
who will recommend to the planning board whether to issue a positive or negative environmental impact declaration.
If the Town of Brookhaven issues a positive declaration, Invenergy must proceed with a full environmental impact
statement, a costly, time-consuming part of the approval process.
If the town issues a negative declaration, indicating there is no adverse impact on the environment, the town can
decide whether to accept or reject the proposal.
“This project will create significant benefits for the community with few adverse impacts, especially when alternatives are considered,” the firm said in a written statement.
Invenergy operates 6,700 megawatts of utility-scale renewable and natural gas-fueled power generation in the
United States, Canada and Europe and has another 2,300 megawatts under contract or in construction, according to
The firm, which bills itself as the biggest independent operator of wind turbines in the nation, already operates
turbines in New York in Jasper, Orangeville and Sheldon.
Brookhaven already issued a building permit for a 60-acre, 9.5 megawatt solar installation that would be built by Salt Lake City-based sPower.