In 2013 East Hampton, a municipality of approximately 22,000 residents, committed to becoming “a leader in sustainable energy policies and practices by substantially reducing energy consumption through conservation and energy efficiency while significantly increasing the use of renewable energy technologies.” By 2015, they added an Energy Sustainability Committee with the task of advising the Town on reaching the renewable energy goals spelled out in a newly created Climate Action Plan.
By 2021, under the leadership of Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, a number of the extraordinary actions have moved forward, often recommended by the committee, and passed by the town with much important support coming from the Town’s Natural Resource Department:
- The Accabonac Solar Farm, the first megawatt solar farm on the South Fork, was completed.
- A collaboration with the New York Power Authority resulted in the installation of solar energy systems at municipal buildings.
- A utility battery storage facility was completed in Montauk – the second such facility on Long Island.
- Legislation was authorized for Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) allowing the Town to explore the potential for procuring renewable power from an alternative supplier. FYI: LIPA is currently holding this up.
- Gas and diesel powered leaf blowers have been banned –from May 20 to September 20.
- Solar powered, off-grid lighting has been installed in the Amagansett Village parking lot.
- A Fleet Efficiency Policy was established to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles for the municipal fleet.
- Electric charging stations have been installed, from 12 fast chargers in Montauk (at no cost to the Town) to Level-2 stations at Town Hall and the Amagansett Village parking lot.
- A Climate Emergency Declaration was unanimously adopted in 2021 with the goal of viewing all Town decisions through the lens of climate change.
- Also in 2021, an easement agreement with the South Fork Wind Farm was signed and a resolution to approve the Host Community Agreement between the Town and the South Fork Wind Farm was passed, which, when the final approvals come through from the NYSPSC and BOEM, will yield $29 million in payments over 25 years to the Town and the Trustees.
The wind farm has yet to be approved by BOEM.
Francesca Rheannon, Host of Sustainable East End, opens this video on coastal erosion interviewing Kevin McAllister. It continues as Alec Baldwin and Cate Rogers join Kevin in the discussion. For more information, visit DefendH20.org