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Brookhaven renewable energy project announced

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine Credit: David Pokress

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward Romaine hopes to make his legacy with the launch of a major renewable energy project for the town.

"This is probably the biggest thing I'll do as a supervisor," Romaine said after a news conference Monday to publicly announce the project. "It is the largest energy conservation project on Long Island."

The project is a public-private partnership to install solar panels and small-scale wind turbines on town property in about 15 locations, to be helmed by Massachusetts-based company American Capital Energy, Romaine said Monday.

ACE also has offices in Westchester. Holtsville-based Eldor Contracting Corp. will provide installation and electrical engineering services.

The town would earn about $2 million to $2.5 million a year through a 20-year host site leasing agreement after the sites are operational. Work is scheduled to be completed by 2015.

The proposed town sites would host one or more ground, roof or carport solar arrays, and some also would have low-profile wind turbines.

Sites include Calabro Airport in Brookhaven, which would have solar panels installed on new plane ports, as well as the Centereach pool and the town amphitheater. The project proposes 10 solar fueling stations where residents could charge batteries of electric-powered vehicles at Town Hall in Farmingville, according to Romaine.

The project aims to generate as much as 50 megawatts of alternating-current electricity, enough to power 8,400 homes. ACE would sell the energy to LIPA for distribution.

The project would generate energy without the carbon, sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide pollutants and emissions that would have been produced by fuel-burning facilities generating an equivalent amount of electricity.

Romaine also announced he is launching a five-year plan to make the town more energy efficient. The plan, which will start with an audit of town facilities' energy use, will reduce waste and lower bills for the town, he said.

He plans to introduce a resolution at Tuesday's work session for the town to begin negotiations with ACE.

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