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Feb 11, 2014 3:57 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Airport Could Be Potential Site For Solar Energy Production

Feb 11, 2014 5:01 PM

The East Hampton Airport may become a generator of solar energy as part of a feed-in tariff program with the Long Island Power Authority and the Public Service Electric and Gas Company, PSEG Long Island.

At the East Hampton Town Board work session on Tuesday, Frank Dalene, the chairman of the Energy Sustainability Advisory Committee, explained that adding a 280-megawatt solar energy system to the airport could bring in as much as $3.5 million a year. He said it would ultimately be up to the Town Board to decide whether to lease space at the airport to host a system.

On January 21, the board accepted requests for proposals from three different contractors that would help them with the process of hooking into the electric grid. About 10 locations across the town where the solar panels would go are being considered.

Mr. Dalene said the committee decided to segregate the airport from those 10 locations, and that two contractors are interested in designing the airport’s system. One of the contractors said that the potential at the airport alone is “tremendous.”

“All issues would have to be vetted out, but one said that in his design, the solar power would reach 380 megawatts, which would put it as the largest solar power plant in the Northeast, and potential revenues to the airport as $3.5 million,” he said, explaining the system would be under a 20-year contract. “There was another design that wasn’t as aggressive. Some contractors are from outside the area and don’t understand that we’re concerned about the groundwater and clearing restrictions.”

The RFP for the potential airport system needs to be issued before the town can go forward and choose a vendor.

The committee is also recommending that the town seek proposals for a peak power plant, which would house batteries for power generation. Mr. Dalene said the town should consider using a liquid flow battery, which stores as much electricity as there is liquid within the battery, or other fuel cell technology.

According to Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, the town will seek proposals for both projects and later choose a contractor for both. Once that is done, the contractors’ projects will be submitted to LIPA, which still owns the grid, by March 31.

He said the plans will go through public review and be vetted out thoroughly.

“This is an exciting opportunity to consider,” Mr. Cantwell said. “The benefits of renewable energy sources on the South Fork and the tremendous financial opportunities all have to be weighed against the best interests of the community, the neighborhoods and the environment.”

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“All issues would have to be vetted out, but one said that in his design, the solar power would reach 380 megawatts"

I call BS. BNL is 200 acres and has a capacity of 32 megawatts. That equates to .16 megawatts/1 acre. The airport would have to have utilize 2,375 acres to generate that kind of power. Let's just say that the efficiency gains since BNL was built means they could get .32 megawatts/1 acres. They would still need to utilize 1,875 acres of space.

The entire ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Feb 11, 14 8:03 PM
That might be one possible to deal ne way to help with deer over- population which are supposed to be such a problem at the airport. Once those structures are in place, the deer will likely steer clear, they prefer more forested areas. There are many solutions to the airport financing issue....how about beginning with charging higher fees to the loudest, most polluting aircraft....we all know which they are. this is done in European Union where they do not ha ve a deer problem but are leaps and ...more
By Trish (91), Sag Harbor on Feb 12, 14 5:36 PM
Deer prefer lightly forested or forest edge habitat, which the airport provides, as do lawns, roads, and golf courses. They may stay away from the panels themselves, but I don't think they will affect the deer population near the airport. This is a great way to finance the airport, not that I am a fan of aircraft noise, but I am a fan of solar power, and the potential it represents for keeping money in our community.
By LegsArmstrong (16), Amagansett on Feb 13, 14 4:33 PM
From another news organization:

"There are still a lot of ifs in the offing. East Hampton is proposing 40 megawatts of solar energy generation, when LIPA is seeking to bring just 100 megawatts into the system island-wide. Southold, Shelter Island and Riverhead have also proposed solar arrays on their landfills. PSEG needs to receive all proposals by Jan. 31 and will then evaluate and pick their top choices."

So if LIPA is seeking 100 megawatts - the Airport is going to supply 3.8 ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Feb 13, 14 11:14 AM