East Hampton Town's first solar-plus-battery storage system is being installed on the roof of the Parks Department building at the Town Hall campus. The 75-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system will generate clean, renewable power and charge a 137-kilowatt-hour battery that will allow the town to sell excess power to the grid when demand and prices are at their peak.
In collaboration with the New York Power Authority, the town chose Solar Liberty, an installer based in Buffalo, and Inclusive Prosperity Capital, its financing partner on the project, through a competitive process to develop the system.
NYPA recommended the system's installation as part of the town's effort to attain its 100-percent renewable energy goal. The project also supports the state's solar and energy storage targets to combat climate change, which include having the state generate 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
The solar system will be financed through a 20-year power-purchase agreement with Inclusive Prosperity Capital, with no upfront costs to the town. Such an agreement also enables the town to benefit from cost offsets provided by tax credits. The battery was added at no cost to the town through support from NYPA.
It is estimated that the power produced by the system in one year will avoid the amount of emissions produced by the consumption of 7,000 gallons of gasoline, burning 68,000 pounds of coal, or the annual electricity usage of 11 residences, according to a statement issued from Town Hall last week.
"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," Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said in the statement.
Other municipal buildings were also considered for solar and energy storage, but it was determined that the Parks Department was the best candidate for an immediate installation. Solar panels are producing power at the Montauk police substation and at the Lamb Building in Amagansett, which houses the Office of Housing and Community Development and the town trustees.
The town's solar portfolio also includes the independently operated Accabonac solar farm and the Solarize East Hampton campaign, which offers discounts on solar installations to residents and local businesses. Information is at energizeeh.org.