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.
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.