Powering Strong Communities

First Solar-Plus-Storage Project by a Municipality on Long Island is Completed

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on April 20 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.

The 165-panel system is tied directly into the Long Island Power Authority’s distribution grid and will provide about 90 megawatt hours of energy annually.

The 75-kilowatt solar PV system will generate renewable energy 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.

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 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 was added at no cost to the town through grant support from NYPA.

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 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.

LIPA and Energy Storage

For its part, LIPA has also pursued energy storage. LIPA previously installed a 10 megawatt storage project and in 2021 PSEG Long Island issued a request for proposals on behalf of LIPA for bulk energy storage.