New York Construction Report staff writer
The first solar-plus-storage project by a municipality was recently completed in the Town of East Hampton on Long Island. The rooftop array makes the parks department site the first building on Long Island to achieve net zero carbon emissions from electricity generation.
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. 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.
New York-based Solar Liberty and its financing partner on the project, Inclusive Prosperity Capital, was contracted 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.
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.
“Pairing solar with energy storage allows clean, renewable energy produced to be used where and when the electic grid needs it the most,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris. “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.”