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1st Solar-Plus-Storage Project Up And Running In East Hampton

Pitched roof solar panels on house

Patch Staff

“Solar is a key element in New York State’s push to achieve a zero-emissions electricity system, but the sun isn’t always shining.”

EAST HAMPTON, NY —East Hampton is the first municipality on Long Island to implement a solar-plus-storage project, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Monday.

The rooftop array will also make the parks department building at the Town Hall campus the first building in the town to achieve the goal of net-zero carbon emissions in terms of electricity generation, town officials said.

The project, developed with the New York Power Authority, will support New York State’s goal to procure 70 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030, and the Town of East Hampton’s goal of community-wide renewable energy only in all sectors, also by 2030, officials added.

“Solar is a key element in New York State’s push to achieve a zero-emissions electricity system, but the sun isn’t always shining. Adding batteries increases resiliency and brings stability to the grid,” Hochul said. “The Town of East Hampton is the first municipality on Long Island and one of the early leaders statewide to commit to a solution that helps integrate solar into government operations and provides a benefit to local taxpayers.”

The 165-panel system is tied directly into the parks department building and will provide about 90 megawatt hours of energy annually. In the first year, it will offset nearly 110,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from more than 125,000 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle, town officials added.

The 75-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system will generate clean, renewable power and charge a 137- kilowatt hour battery. It is expected that 100 percent of the energy costs of the building will be offset with credits from the energy produced by the solar PV system. Any additional energy credits will be allocated to another building on the Town Hall campus, officials explained.

“Not only will this project reduce carbon emissions and make the Town Hall campus more resilient, it is also estimated to save taxpayers at least $10,000 a year between bill credits and reduced electrical costs,” said East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc.

The town, in collaboration with the Power Authority, selected New York-based Solar Liberty and its financing partner on the project, Inclusive Prosperity Capital, through a competitive process to develop the solar-plus-battery storage system, officials said.

The solar PV system will be financed through a 20-year power purchase agreement with Inclusive Prosperity Capital, with no upfront costs to the town. A PPA also enables the town to benefit from cost offsets provided by tax credits. The battery, which was added at no cost to the town through grant support from NYPA, will capture energy and discharge it to the grid when needed, usually during the periods of highest demand, officials said.

NYPA recommended the system’s installation as part of East Hampton’s ongoing efforts to move toward a 100 percent renewable energy goal’ NYPA DER Advisory Services assisted as advisor throughout implementation, officials said.

The project also supports Hochul’s solar and energy storage targets to fight climate change, which includes achieving at least 10 gigawatts of distributed solar by 2030, town officials added.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has committed nearly $35,000 to the project through its retail energy storage program, which provides funding to commercial customers for standalone, grid-connected energy storage or systems paired with a new or existing clean on-site generation like solar.

“Pairing solar with energy storage allows clean, renewable energy produced to be used where and when the electric grid needs it the most,” NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said. “This project is a prime example of how the state and local municipalities can work together to make operations more resilient while improving local air quality and saving New Yorkers money.”

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