On May 20, 2014, the East Hampton Town Board unanimously adopted a resolution to meet 100% of annual community-wide electricity usage with renewable energy sources by 2020. Furthermore, the Town aims to meet 100% of annual community-wide energy consumption in all sectors (electricity, heating, and transportation) with renewable energy sources by 2030.
The Town of East Hampton is the first municipality on the east coast to adopt such a goal. Aspen, CO and San Francisco, CA are among a handful of US cities that have set 100% renewable energy goals to be met before the end of the decade.
East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell recently said, “Making the switch to clean energy is just the right thing to do, both for the environment and for keeping more money in the local economy and creating jobs here.”
East Hampton has already selected a number of proposals from solar developers for large-scale solar farms on town-owned land, which now await approval from utility company LIPA/PSEG-Long Island. A proposed offshore wind farm, to be located 30 miles east of Montauk Point, could meet a large part of the power needs of the five East End Towns including East Hampton’s electricity needs. The proposed project is under review and LIPA/PSEG-LI and a decision is expected by the end of the year. The project could be in operation by 2018.
East Hampton’s decision comes as the area has seen an increase in summer peak demand for electricity and PSEG Long Island has installed unsightly transmission lines which have become a point of public contention and legal action.
Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of the not-for-profit organization Renewable Energy Long Island (reLI) and member of the Town’s Energy Sustainability Committee, was instrumental in the adoption of East Hampton’s groundbreaking new goal. "Setting these bold renewable energy goals for the eastern tip of Long Island positions East Hampton as a visionary leader in the fight against climate change and an example of how we can all become part of the solution," Mr. Raacke said in a recent press release.
East Hampton’s 100% clean electricity goal would be met when renewable energy sources in the town generate the same amount of electricity as is consumed annually.
“We owe it to the children of East Hampton to do something about climate change and air pollution,” said Town Councilwoman Sylvia Overby who is the liaison on the Town’s Energy Sustainability Committee. “Meeting our future energy needs with clean, environmentally energy sources will require a strong commitment from town government and all East Hampton residents and we are ready to face that challenge.”
Click here for a copy of the 100% Renewable Energy Resolution of the Town of East Hampton, New York (pdf)
Click here for the Town of East Hampton, NY press release (May 20, 2014) (pdf)