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Brookhaven Town could earn at least $2M a year from solar panel project

Brookhaven Town Hall

Brookhaven Town Hall Credit: Newsday / Bill Davis

Brookhaven’s big experiment to install renewable energy structures on town property got its first green light when the town board voted to begin contract negotiations with an energy firm.

The board voted unanimously at last week’s board meeting to award the project contract to Massachusetts-based American Capital Energy.

Under the project, the town will earn about $2 to $2.5 million a year for a 20-year lease to ACE to install solar panels and wind turbines in more than a dozen locations on town property. The project plans to generate up to 50 megawatts of alternating-current electricity, which can power 8,400 homes. ACE would then sell the energy to LIPA for distribution.

Town supervisor Edward P. Romaine has said the project will be the most significant action he has taken as the town’s leader.

A town evaluation committee recommended ACE, which has a local office in Westchester, after receiving six submissions in response to a September request for proposals.

Each of 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 hamlet, the Centereach pool and the town amphitheater. Another site, Town Hall in Farmingville, could host 10 solar fueling stations where residents could charge batteries of electric-powered vehicles. Work is expected to be completed by 2015.

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