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Hamptons Life

Nov 5, 2018 11:52 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

State Money Available For Commercial Solar Storage Projects

Nov 5, 2018 11:57 AM

There is $40 million in grant funding up for grabs for solar storage projects statewide that need help starting up.

The funding is available through NY-Sun, a public-private partnership with state agencies and power providers that promotes growth in the solar industry in New York. The state has invested about $1 billion into the solar partnership program, helping to complete tens of thousands of projects statewide. The new influx of money is directed specifically for energy storage of at least 50 megawatts derived from solar.

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said the funds will help commercial and industrial solar array projects get off the ground and distribute clean energy to South Fork residents.

“These are not for residential purposes, putting panels on your roof or something like that,” Mr. Thiele said. Instead, residents enjoy lower energy bills from commercial projects, and may even be able to benefit from federal and local tax credits too, he said.

Mr. Thiele pointed to a recent project underway in East Hampton—the first solar farm on the South Fork, where 3,500 solar panels are being installed on 2 acres of town-owned land—as a good example of a commercial solar project. Future projects that operate like that one will be able to benefit from the funding.

The funding incentive advances the state’s goal of supporting the growth of 1,500 megawatts of energy storage by 2025, and to draw 50 percent of its electricity need from renewable sources by 2030.

Mr. Thiele said the South Fork, which unlike the rest of Long Island has an increased demand for electricity each year, stands to benefit the most from the state incentive. He noted it’s where “much of Long Island’s development and growth is happening.”

“And then there is the issue with climate change,” he continued. “I have more coastline than any other assembly district in the state—no one is going to be more impacted by climate change than the First Assembly District. It’s imperative that we lead the way in terms of finding projects that emphasize renewable energy and reducing our carbon footprint.”

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