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Sep 15, 2015 11:12 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Will Explore Small-Scale Power Grid

Sep 15, 2015 2:17 PM

Southampton Town officials hope to set up a smaller, localized electrical system linking several important buildings—like Town Hall, Southampton Hospital, the Village Police station and the public schools—and using renewable energy to provide backup during power outages.

The town has hired an engineering firm to study the energy needs of each building, as well as what type of renewable power could be used and how much it would cost. The study will be funded through a recently approved $100,000 grant and will be led by D&B Engineering and Architects of New York City.

“New York State in its entirety is looking to revise its energy code and is looking to make changes to how we work with energy,” Janice Scherer, the town’s principal planner, said during a Town Board meeting earlier this month.

The plan is to link the buildings with a microgrid—a smaller-scale, decentralized energy grid that can run independently of a more centralized grid. A microgrid can use several types of energy sources—including battery storage or fuel cells—but town officials want to focus on renewable energy sources, like solar or wind power.

According to Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, a microgrid could help ensure that a critical facility like the hospital will be able to function as normal during an emergency situation.

“We know from PSEG and National Grid that we are very much at our limits in terms of the energy that is being supplied to the region and not meeting the actual need. So we have concerns that unless there is energy supplemented, we are at an increased risk for blackouts and things of that nature,” the supervisor said.

“We also know from these big storms we have had that when the system goes down as a whole, or a large area is affected, having a microgrid that is self-sufficient, these vital parts of the community are supported in the event of an energy event, storm or overtaxing.”

The grant comes from the State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and is connected to a statewide microgrid initiative. The study must be submitted to the state by the end of February, after which grants will be awarded to selected neighborhoods to design their microgrids, with potential state funding to follow for building and implementing the grids.

“The stage one feasibility study is about resiliency and communities that have the potential for significant power outages for a significant amount of time,” Ms. Scherer said. “We are one of those communities, because we are out at the end of the transmission line here in Southampton.”

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If they could only capture that hot air coming out of town hall and convert it into sustainable energy. Give a bureaucrat some money and they will find a way to spend it.
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Sep 15, 15 12:02 PM
2 members liked this comment
Capture the hot air from every town hall, every county seat, every state legislature and all of DC and we could be energy independent overnight.
By Preliator Lives (360), Obamavillie on Sep 15, 15 1:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
This is ridiculous - A simple backup generator at each of the above listed locations is all that is necessary. If you want renewable, just add something that sells back to the grid for times when you are not in an emergency situation (or 99.99% of the time).
By SHResident (52), Southampton on Sep 15, 15 1:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
How about the fact that PSEG limits how much a homeowner with solar can introduce into the grid?? PSEG sells you power at approximately $.22/kw and buys it back at approximately $.08kw if you have a Net meter for a residential solar array. But then, once you hit a mark based on your average usage. They then cut you off from introducing more power to the grid, and then cry shortage? Where's Town Hall, Suffolk County and NYS on that?
By Mouthampton (417), Southampton on Sep 15, 15 6:32 PM
2 members liked this comment
Funny thing is that PSEG technically is the state. LIPA was simply rebranded and it's simply de facto privatized.

It's pretty likely there's something on the books that states municipalities can't sell power back to the grid. Technically it would be the state, as it were, selling power to the state.

Bottom line is when people are self sufficient, the profiteers lose and they will engage in any legal chicanery to put a chokehold on it.
By Mr. Z (10907), North Sea on Sep 15, 15 9:20 PM
Put solar on every school, library, and public building in Southampton. Pour the electricity back into the grid local grid until LIPA goes away. I'm so tired of LIPA they've been sucking the energy out of Long Island for 40+ years and there's no end in sight. LIPAsuction.
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Sep 15, 15 8:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
[expletive deleted] A.
By Mr. Z (10907), North Sea on Sep 15, 15 9:42 PM
Solar just like Hybrid cars have their drawbacks too. Do you think those panels and batteries are made with sugar plums and wheat grass? They are composed of so much plastic and heavy metals that are completely toxic. Do you think the Amish make them? Just like the bag ban, it's short sited. Have you seen local businesses just follow Citarella's lead and have bags literally with "Resuable Bag" printed on them? Town Hall Board members....lemmings.
By lirider (263), Hampton Bays on Sep 15, 15 10:33 PM
Transition metals and silicon are found in almost everything you use every day. From your computer to your smartphone, such items are as toxic, or more toxic than solar cells. Neodymium magnets are in every mechanical hard drive. Wind power and the rare earth metals used in generator and transmission applications are indeed a concern however, especially their extraction process.

As far as batteries are concerned, we have been, and still use lead-acid batteries on a massive scale. We ...more
By Mr. Z (10907), North Sea on Sep 15, 15 11:23 PM