Clean Renewable Solar Energy Generation to Make Town of East Hampton’s Parks Department Building the First Net Zero Building for Electricity, Providing Energy Cost Savings
Project Offsets Carbon Emissions Helping New York State and East Hampton Town Advance Aggressive Solar and Energy Storage Goals
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of the first solar-plus-storage project by a municipality on Long Island, now operating in the Town of East Hampton. The rooftop array makes the Parks Department building at the Town Hall campus the first building in the town to achieve the goal of net zero carbon emissions from electricity generation. The project, developed with the New York Power Authority, supports 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.
“Solar power is a key element in New York's push to achieve a zero-emissions electricity system and achieve our nation-leading climate goals,” Governor Hochul said. “With the completion of this solar-plus-storage project, the Town of East Hampton is the first municipality on Long Island to commit to a solution that integrates solar into government operations. We will continue to make bold investments in clean energy that create jobs, save taxpayer money, and build a greener future for all New Yorkers."
The 165-panel system is tied directly into LIPA's distribution grid 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. The 75-kilowatt solar PV (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.
East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said, “Not only will this project reduce carbon emissions and make the Town Hall campus more resilient, it is also estimated to save town taxpayers at least $10,000 a year between bill credits and reduced electrical costs.”
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. The solar PV system will be financed through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) 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, during the periods of highest demand.
NYPA Acting President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, “The Power Authority helps local governments and state agencies reach their decarbonization goals through innovative energy solutions that reduce expenses, increase resiliency and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The Town of East Hampton is charting new ground on Long Island by pairing solar and storage to offset energy costs. Such inventive projects are being constructed statewide that will help further advance New York’s progress toward both its solar targets and its bold goal for a 100-percent zero-emissions electricity system by 2040.”
NYPA recommended the system’s installation as part of East Hampton’s ongoing efforts to move toward a 100 percent renewable energy goal. NYPA Distributed Energy Resource Advisory Services assisted as advisor throughout implementation. The project also supports the State’s aggressive solar and energy storage targets to fight climate change, which includes achieving at least 10 gigawatts of distributed solar by 2030.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) 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. New York’s comprehensive approach to energy storage is helping to accelerate the market learning curve, drive down costs, and speed the deployment of the energy storage projects to better integrate renewable energy resources. Since 2019, more than $300 million has been deployed to fund the construction of more than 1,300 megawatts of energy storage projects across the state.
NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Pairing solar with energy storage allows clean, renewable energy produced to be used where and when the electric grid needs it the most. 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.”
In support of the Town's goals of using 100-percent renewable energy, the Supervisor has advanced energy sustainability efforts, including the Energize East Hampton campaign offering incentives to residents for solar installations and other energy-saving devices, and has continued assessments of and reductions in energy usage at public buildings. Other environmental initiatives include electric vehicle charging stations on the Town Hall campus and the development on Town land of the first megawatt-scale solar farm on Long Island’s South Fork. NYPA also is working with the Town on LED streetlighting upgrades.
Vice President of Solar Liberty Nathan Rizzo said, "We are proud to have partnered with the Town of East Hampton, NYPA and IPC on this groundbreaking solar-plus-storage project. As the first of its kind at a town facility, this initiative sets a strong example for other municipalities in New York and beyond, showcasing the viability and benefits of adopting clean energy solutions. This installation not only moves East Hampton closer to its 100 percent renewable energy goal but also delivers significant cost savings for taxpayers while combating climate change."
Inclusive Prosperity Capital (IPC), a non-profit investment fund dedicated to financing clean energy projects that benefit traditionally underserved markets and credits, is partnering with the Town of East Hampton to own and maintain the system.
Managing Director of Clean Energy Transactions at IPC John D’Agostino said, "IPC is thrilled to support the Town of East Hampton and the New York Power Authority in developing the first municipal solar plus storage system on Long Island and to contribute to the Town’s transition to renewable energy. The East Hampton project is a prime example of IPC and NYPA’s focus on deploying clean energy in the municipal space.”
State Senator Anthony H. Palumbo said, “I want to commend the Town of East Hampton for their efforts at reducing the region’s carbon emissions and fostering a greener and healthier future for our children and grandchildren. This project is an important first on Long Island-achieving the goal of net zero carbon emissions for Town facilities and laying the foundation for a more sustainable future for the East End and New York State.”
Assemblymember Fred W. Thiele Jr. said, “The Town of East Hampton's completion of the first solar-plus-storage project by a municipality on Long Island is a remarkable achievement and a significant step towards achieving sustainable energy goals. The project supports New York State's ambitious renewable energy targets and serves as a model for other communities across New York State. By achieving net zero carbon emissions, the Town of East Hampton has demonstrated its commitment to a cleaner, greener future. The partnership between the Town and the New York State Power Authority is a shining example of how government and industry can work together to achieve common goals."