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Wind turbine part of town’s energy plan

Town of Hempstead officials Monday unveiled a wind turbine that will power the town’s hydrogen gas production.

The gas produced by using the 100-kilowatt turbine constructed in Point Lookout will power the town’s fuel-cell cars.

“It’s awe-inspiring that we are using renewable wind power to convert natural water into hydrogen gas in order to power pollution-free cars,” Town Supervisor Kate Murray said in a statement.

The wind turbine, located at the Hempstead Conservation and Waterways Department in Point Lookout, can generate as much as 180 megawatts of power per year. The 121-foot-tall turbine will be powered by winds off the Atlantic coast.

The resulting hydrogen gas will be dispensed at the adjacent fueling station used by the town’s fuel-cell vehicles and a bus. Hempstead is in negotiations to obtain additional fuel-cell cars, officials said.

“This wind turbine is a key element of the town’s clean, renewable energy agenda,” said Councilwoman Angie Cullin, who attended the unveiling.

The $615,000 turbine was funded through a $4.6 million U.S. Department of Energy grant. Town personnel performed about $150,000 in electrical and marine bulkhead work associated with the project, officials said.

Annual cost savings will vary depending on the town’s utility rates, officials said. Any excess energy generated by the turbine will be fed to the Long Island Power Authority grid, resulting in additional savings to the town, officials said. LIPA provided technical assistance to the project, agency chief operating officer Michael Hervey said.

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