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East Hampton Town Could Soak Up Funds from Solar-Generated Power Projects

Town stands to make up to $800,000 by leasing spaces to private firms that sells solar-generated electricity to power company.

Solar panels on the Lamb Building in Amagansett - Credit: File Photo
Solar panels on the Lamb Building in Amagansett - Credit: File Photo
The Town of East Hampton is looking toward solar-generated electric power, which could mean an extra $800,000 in the town's coffers each year.

The town board passed a resolution last week approving conditional contracts to lease town-owned land to three firms that will build solar systems.

The town and the contractors, which are SunEdison, OnForce Solar and Sustainable Power Group, will share the revenue from the power that is generated and sold to PSEG Long Island. The plan could produce up to 40 megawatts for the South Fork.

“The potential income to the Town of East Hampton could be more than $800,000 per year,” Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said in a statement last week.

The town board is still considering which land will be leased, but they could be  parts of the capped landfills in Montauk and East Hampton, and unused town-
owned lots and rooftops on public buildings.

Some buildings already support solar panels. In late 2011, panels were placed on the Lamb Building in Amagansett, making them the first solar panels on a town-owned building. The town had received $207,000 in grant funds from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for that project. The Montauk police precinct has them, as well.

Frank Dalene, the chairman of the town’s Energy and Sustainability Committee, supports the plan and considers it a first step in implementing the Comprehensive Energy Vision adopted last year. “We are encouraged by the Town Board’s leadership in sustainability,” he said in the statement.

Town Councilwoman Sylvia Overby is the liaison to the committee, which reviewed 13 proposals. “We are excited about the potential to generate solar electric from underutilized town land, produce revenue for the town and help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and our carbon footprint,” she said.

The firms have until Jan. 31 to submit their proposals to PSEG. The town will further scrutinize the proposals when locations are chosen.


MARTIN DREW January 28, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Underutilized land .... hope it's NOT sotes that have been recommended for recreation .. under utilized ... more like politicized ... I heard the ACCABONAC OLD DUMP is on their radar ... you know ... where recreation was proposed in years past ... maybe turn the airport into a solar field ... solve two problems at once ... end noise and create green energy ... stay oit of areas suitable for neighborhood recreation..
Lady L January 29, 2014 at 08:05 AM
It is nice that the taxpayers are providing the $207K grant, via the government redistribution of our money...but, even of more interest is that my understanding is it takes an average of 9 years to re-coup the cost of installing solar panels, so at what point do all these solar panels and the windmill start balancing the bottom line, and we, the taxpayers see a drop in our property taxes?
MARTIN DREW January 29, 2014 at 08:35 AM
@ Lady L comment .. " the taxpayers see a drop in our property taxes " ... excuse me... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH... NEVER with this tax a spend crowd of political money grabbers$ .. VOTE DREW if change is what you de$ire ... if you did - TY :) if not consider it ... SOLAR PANEL IN " underutilized land" give it a break .. "underutilized = politicized" they think we're $tupid!

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