Intelligent Energy

Photos: What 164,312 solar panels look like (from the air)

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What does a 32-megawatt solar project really look like? Check out these aerial photos of the Long Island Solar Farm, which started delivering power to New York households this month.

The Long Island Solar Farm, a 32-megawatt project at the Energy Department's Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, was officially "turned on" last week. The project is made up of 164,312 solar panels and according to officials it also boasts the smallest footprint for a solar array of its output.

To get an idea of what that means -- and looks like -- check out these aerial photos of the project. In the first photo below, the Brookhaven National Laboratory is located on the left.

Some projects facts:

  • The solar farm can generate 50 gigawatt-hours of energy a year, enough to power about 4,500 households;
  • BP Solar crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules were used in the project. The company built and will operate and maintain the installation;
  • BP Solar and MetLife co-own the solar farm through Long Island Solar Farm LLC or LISF.
  • Long Island Power Authority has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with LISF;
  • The energy produced under the agreement is expected to cost $298 million (including interconnection costs) over the contracted 20-year term. That's about $0.60 per month for the typical residential customer.

The Long Island Solar Farm installation is part of the largest solar energy project in the state of New York, according Brookhaven lab, LIPA and BP Solar.

Photo: Brookhaven National Laboratory

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Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure