Fred Thiele is a member of the New York House of Representatives and a prominent member of the Independence Party of New York. He recently had his ideas incorporated into Governor Cuomo’s solar energy proposal and was pretty pleased about it.
Thiele stated, “If we are to be truly energy independent and reduce energy costs on Long Island, we must provide incentives to encourage the production of solar and other alternative sources of energy. The establishment of a feed-in tariff program is a market-based strategy to do just that. Rather than provide cash rebates to install solar, here LIPA would pay an incentive for the power produced by solar power to encourage the development of solar infrastructure.”
Thiele’s proposal, first introduced in 2009, would have directed LIPA to establish a feed-in tariff program. Under the Thiele proposal, LIPA would have been authorized to purchase up to 100 megawatts of electricity under the program. Thiele’s bill set an initial tariff of 32 cents per kilowatt hour and a 20 year contract for solar producers. LIPA could adjust the tariff due to market conditions no more than once every two years.
Under the proposal announced by LIPA and the Governor last week, 50 megawatts would be purchased by LIPA and the tariff would be 22 per kilowatt hour.
Thiele claims the program will also create jobs, citing similar programs in Germany, Spain, and Florida.