— More than 200 supporters rally to emphasize project’s benefit to economic development, the environment and L.I.’s energy security —
YAPHANK, NY — September 10, 2015 — With Long Island’s most efficient, cleanest and most water-conserving power plant as a backdrop, New York State Senator Thomas Croci, Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, along with leadership from the Building and Construction Trade Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the Coalition for a Brighter Long Island, environmental and clean-energy advocates, and others, renewed calls for Governor Cuomo to insist that LIPA and PSEG-LI move forward with the Caithness II power plant without further delay.
In all, more than 200 supporters gathered at the rally at the Caithness Long Island Energy Center to advocate for the Caithness II project and the benefits it will bring to Long Island in terms of the economy, the environment, and the security of the region’s electric grid.
Senator Croci spoke at the rally after touring the existing Caithness plant with Senator Joseph Griffo, Chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee.
“Energy and infrastructure are crucial to our economic future and survival on Long Island. Yet, nearly 50 percent of Long Island’s electricity comes in on cables from off-island sources, which jeopardizes Long Island’s independent energy supply,” said Senator Croci. “Long Islanders deserve a resilient and reliable power supply that won’t be compromised when threats arise. Modern technology has made it possible to locate power plants inland, so that we don’t put residents’ power in jeopardy during events like Superstorm Sandy. I urge Governor Cuomo to support the Caithness II project to secure our energy infrastructure, provide relief for ratepayers, and drive economic growth and prosperity on Long Island and in New York State.”
Unlike the Caithness plant, three of Long Island’s major power plants are vulnerable to severe storms because two of the plants (those in Northport and Port Jefferson) are located on the Long Island Sound, while the other (E.F. Barrett) is situated along a coastal bay in Oceanside. Importantly, the Caithness plant is located 100 feet above mean sea level, and more than five miles from the Long Island Sound or the South Shore bays. Caithness II would be located adjacent to the existing Caithness plant.
Neal Lewis, Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, and a locally recognized environmental leader, stated, “The ongoing threat to our environment from continued reliance on old power plants (those previously owned by the now-defunct Long Island Lighting Company) must be eliminated. These aging plants should be replaced by ones that generate the type of clean, modern power that Caithness II can provide.” Mr. Lewis also noted that Caithness II’s operational flexibility, the ability to power up and down quickly, supports solar and wind energy projects providing “clean, efficient power during times when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind isn’t blowing.”
Also in attendance at the rally was Eric Alexander, Executive Director of Vision Long Island, the region’s smart-growth-planning organization, which recognized the first Caithness power plant with the organization’s inaugural Clean Energy Award in 2011.
“As president of the Longwood School Board, I know that Caithness II represents a continuing commitment by Caithness Energy to our local schools,” said Dan Tomaszewski, who is also the founder of the Coalition for a Brighter Long Island. “Caithness II will contribute $13 million annually to the Longwood Central School District tax base, improving the education for our children, without increasing the tax burden. Caithness II is a necessary addition to our community.”
In a statement, Dick O’Kane, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, stated that, “Caithness II will put Long Islanders to work to provide the region with affordable and reliable energy,” and called on Governor Cuomo to step in and ensure that Long Island stops exporting jobs, and moves ahead with Caithness II.
Caithness II will create more than 500 construction jobs during the 30-month build cycle, and generate in excess of $400 million in economic activity during the 20-plus-year-life of the plant.
“Caithness is pleased to have the support of a number of influential Long Island leaders who recognize the tangible environmental and economic benefits Caithness II will create throughout the region,” said Ross Ain, President, Caithness Long Island, LLC. “The Caithness II project will also help ensure Long Island’s energy independence, while adding a significant layer of strength to the electric grid, especially when major storms hit.”
Other Caithness II supporters attending the rally included Neil Foley, Brookhaven Town Councilman; Dan Losquadro, Brookhaven Town Superintendant of Highways; Robyn Fellrath, representing Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Connie Kepert; Edward Flood, Chief of Staff to NY State Assemblyman Dean Murray; Bill Peters, Commissioner, Yaphank Fire District; Roy LoBocchiaro, Commissioner, Ridge Fire District; Dr. Michael Lonergan, Superintendant of Schools, Longwood Central School District; Michael Loguercio, Penny McGrath, Frank Muracca and Maureen Silvestri, members of the Board of Education, Longwood Central School District; Daniel Walcott, Political Director & NY District Council, Millwrights Local 740; Frank Ippoliti, Council Representative for Millwrights Local 740; Mike Cavanaugh, Vice President for the District Council of Carpenters; Mario Mattera, Business Agent for the Plumbers Local Council 200; Anthony Fagiolo, Political Director, Heat and Frost Insulators Local 12; Steve McInnis, President, The New York City District Council of Carpenters; Peter Zarcone, General Building Laborers Local 66; Joseph Cavalieri, General Building Laborers Local 66; Kevin Harvey, Business Manager, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 25; members of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties; the Coalition for a Brighter Long Island and others.
About Caithness Long Island, LLC
Caithness Long Island, LLC, is a subsidiary of Caithness Energy, LLC, a privately held, New York-based independent power producer. For over 25 years, Caithness has been a pioneer in the development of clean, reliable energy. More information can be found at www.caithnesslongisland.com.
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Contact: Don Miller
West End Strategies, Ltd