Solar power debuts on Long Island retail stores

ISLANDIA, N.Y., Jan. 16, 2003 — Long Island’s four newest power plants are now on line.

But don’t look for smoke stacks or steel-towered power lines. Just look on the roofs of four BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, where sun-powered electricity plants are now producing electricity, thanks to a partnership between two Massachusetts-based companies – Conservation Services Group (CSG) and Evergreen Solar, Inc. – BJ’s, and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) solar rebate program.

LIPA Chairman and CEO Richard M. Kessel joined company officials from BJ’s, CSG, and Evergreen Solar in ceremonies marking the installation, held at the Islandia store, today. Students from the Pines Elementary School in Hauppauge also attended, singing “You Are My Sunshine” while wearing colorful solar masks, to open the ceremonies. The Pines School has partnered with the Islandia store through BJ’s Adopt-A-School program.

The four BJ’s Clubs – in Farmingdale, Islandia, Riverhead and Westbury – will feature 96 Evergreen Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at each location. Each of the systems, which were designed and installed by CSG, covers an area of about 1000 square feet on a store’s roof. PV, or photovoltaic solar electric panels, are solid-state devices, made from silicon, that convert sunlight to electricity, without fuel, noise, or pollution.

Each BJ’s solar power plant produces 10 kilowatts of “green” electricity for the store, helping to reduce the peak demand on LIPA, the local electric utility. All LIPA customers benefit when electrical consumption is reduced during the peak demand periods, which usually occur on hot sunny days in the summer. BJ’s and its Members benefit by helping to promote the development of power sources such as solar electricity that rely on clean, renewable resources like the sun. Combined, the four (4) BJ’s solar power plants on Long Island will generate between 40,000 and 50,000 kilowatt hours of electricity yearly, and over their lifespan will avoid production of 720 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Adam Parker is president of CSG and spoke during the ceremony. He said, “We are proud to be affiliated with BJ’s, who is helping take the lead in supporting the development of solar electric power. The BJ’s roofs, like those on many large commercial buildings, are vast areas of prime real estate highly suited for solar power plants. We hope other companies will follow their lead. By installing more solar panels, we’ll be transforming rooftops into carpets of green energy that will generate clean, renewable power for present and future generations.”

Mark Farber, President and CEO of Evergreen Solar, Inc., said, “We’ve seen tremendous growth in the solar energy market – 30 percent annual growth for the past five years. Companies like BJ’s, who have made a strong commitment to using PV and renewable energy, deserve enormous credit for their foresight and leadership. The continued support of state governments and utilities is critical to fostering the greater use of solar and other renewable power technologies. It makes enormous sense for the future of our planet, and everyone benefits. Renewable energy helps the US become more energy independent, our air is cleaner and healthier, and our planet is better off.”

“We are pleased to participate in this effort to provide clean energy for the competitive utility market,” said Sara Dill, BJ’s Manager of Energy. “By providing our roof tops as a location for solar electric generating facilities, we are putting latent space to use for a great purpose.” BJ’s has installed solar panels on the roofs of its clubs in Middletown, R.I., Plymouth Meeting, PA, North Dartmouth, MA, and Deptford, N.J.

“BJ’s Wholesale Club is the first major Long Island retailer to place solar panels on their facilities. We’re extremely pleased that BJ’s participated in our Solar Pioneer Program,” said LIPA Chairman Richard M. Kessel. “Producing renewable solar power to help operate a retail facility is a great way to reduce demand on our non-renewable resources which in turn helps reduce emissions. BJ’s should be commended for their willingness to be a good corporate citizen on Long Island.”

CSG has installed similar systems on BJ’s roofs in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania.

In 1999, LIPA launched its Solar Pioneer program to encourage the use of clean solar energy among Long Island homeowners and to help make the installation of PV systems more affordable. Today there are 196 installed residential systems and 36 systems pending installation. These residential rooftop photovoltaic systems can potentially produce over 1MW of electricity and represent $4.9 million in LIPA rebates.

Also in attendance at today’s ceremonies were General Managers from each of the four BJ’s stores involved in the solar panel installation: Mike Kizis (Islandia), Mike Greco (Westbury), Artie Ferro (Farmingdale), and Chris Baumbach (Riverhead).


Evergreen Solar, Inc. ( develops, manufactures, and markets solar power products utilizing the Company’s patented solar power technologies. The products provide reliable and environmentally clean electric power in global markets. Solar power applications include wireless power for remote homes, water pumping, lighting, and rural electrification, as well as complete power systems for electric utility customers choosing to generate their own environmentally benign power. Evergreen Solar is one of the only fully integrated, independent PV manufacturers in the U.S – producing solar wafers, cells and panels.


CSG and its affiliate company, CSGServices, Inc., owns and operates solar electric power plants in seven states totaling over 350 kW and have been involved in the design, maintenance and construction of other systems totaling more than 150 kW. Sun Power Electric, a CSG division, is the nation’s first all Photovoltaic (PV) utility and is dedicated to promoting and supporting the production of solar electricity for commercial and industrial facilities, as well as private homes. CSG was established in 1984 and founded Sun Power Electric in 1998.


The Solar Pioneer Program is part of LIPA’s Clean Energy Initiative (CEI). The CEI is a multi-year, $170 million program implemented at Governor George Pataki’s direction to promote energy conservation and efficiency, and to research, develop and implement the use of alternative energy technologies such as solar, wind, geothermal and fuel cells.


Headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. is an operator of warehouse clubs in the eastern United States, with 140 clubs in the chain. In 2001, sales totaled $5.2 billion. BJ’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “BJ”. For more information, log on to

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