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Apr 27, 2011 1:05 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Company Helps Provide Solar Panels To Non-Profits

Apr 27, 2011 10:54 AM

SunStream USA, one of the seven corporations making up the J. Tortorella Group, which is based in Southampton and probably better known for swimming pools, is offering what it says is a unique way for not-for-profit organizations to save money on energy costs.

Under a program called a Power Purchase Agreement, SunStream will install electric-generating solar panels, called photovolatic solar electric systems, or PVs, for free—with the nonprofits, including service organizations and churches, paying Sunstream over 15 years for the power generated by the panels. After that, the organizations own the systems outright and will reap the benefits of the energy savings the panels create. They will pay LIPA only for the power they use that the solar panels don’t create.

Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch in Riverhead and Big Brothers and Sisters of Long Island in Levittown and Islandia are two of several organizations that have taken advantage of the deal.

Although its system was just installed in late February, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island is already benefiting from the solar panels.

“We have already seen a reduction in our bills, and over time this installation will equate to substantial savings,” said Jamie Hill, marketing and public relations manager for the organization. “The Power Purchase Agreement enables us to not a pay a cent up front. We are able to log in and monitor the usage of these panels.”

Ms. Hill said it was important for organizations to “look into this installation and have their questions answered.” Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking into installing solar panels at its location in Islandia in the future.

“This agreement is gentle on our environment as well as our budget,” she added.

Thaddeus Hill, executive director of Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch, is also happy with the organization’s experience with SunStream. The ranch has been serving children looking for a retreat in a time of crisis and their families for more than 30 years and is appreciative of opportunity to save money on its electric costs, he said.

“We obviously are looking forward to saving money as a nonprofit,” said Mr. Hill, whose organization maintains a 72-acre campus. “There are 11 structures on this campus, seven of which have solar panels that we did through Sunstream. We’ve been very pleased with our experience with SunStream. We feel like it’s going a long way not only to be clean in our energy, but also financially. Partnering with SunStream has allowed us not just to save money, but it’s allowing us to sustain the work that we do.”

But nonprofits aren’t the only ones served by SunStream.

SunStream prides itself, Director of Operations Brian Tymann said, in significantly affecting the way local homes, businesses and organizations acquire their energy. The company offers an array of solutions for those looking to save money and make their homes more environmentally friendly, he said.

“We call ourselves a renewable energy company and we’re very focused on being kind of turnkey, in that we can provide a variety of solutions for people, not just solar,” Mr. Tymann said. “We do wind power, we do solar water heating in addition to solar electric, solar pool heating and geo-thermal—an up-and-coming renewable technology using the ground’s stable temperature to heat and cool a home or a building, without using any fossil fuels, oil or gas.”

Among the systems SunStream offers, solar power is one of the most popular.

“Solar is popular because of a few reasons.” Mr. Tymann said. “One is that it has some of the best rebates and tax credits. Two is that it is long lasting, very low maintenance, and a reliable return on your investment. And three is that it is an easy thing to install. Things like wind power and geothermal heating and cooling might not work for every property, but solar works for nearly all properties.”

LIPA is a willing partner for organizations and homeowners seeking to install renewable energy systems. Its collaboration works to the customer’s advantage, allowing the home or business to continue receiving electricity, even in times of inclement weather and in the winter season, in which sunshine may not be in great abundance.

“All of the solar power created, technically doesn’t go to anything in the building, it all goes to LIPA,” Mr. Tymann said. “We do what is called grid tag systems, taking the electric and feeding it into LIPA’s grid and LIPA supplying us with energy back. The homeowner never has to rely on the sun for their power.”

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Epic beard. Your friend, Brian.

PS excellent idea the whole solar panel thing.
Get on board people.
By Brian Bailey (36), Southampton on Apr 28, 11 10:54 AM
Thanks man!!!!
By briantymann (31), westhampton beach on Apr 28, 11 2:20 PM
Great news!
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Apr 28, 11 3:58 PM
And just like their swimming pools, they are over priced. Find a nicer and less expensive company that will call you back when you call for a meeting. My friend waited 2 months. She got someone from western suffolk - did a great job and was very nice!
By LovedHerTown (132), southampton on Apr 28, 11 6:39 PM
Hello LovedHerTown,
I sincerely apologize if you (or your friend) had a bad experience with SunStream. We are told often that we do a very good job by many happy customers, and have been lauded in the industry as being very competitively priced, but if we fell short of that with someone I apologize. If there is ANY further information that you might be able to give me regarding this situation, such as the name of who your friend spoke with at SunStream, I would GREATLY appreciate it - my e-mail ...more
By briantymann (31), westhampton beach on May 3, 11 1:48 PM