Today, Earth Day, the Town of Southampton announced the release of a request for proposals (RFP) for the first community distributed generation (CDG) solar project on Long Island, a project opportunity available to the Town and its residents through its community choice aggregation (CCA) program.
Southampton Town was the first municipality on Long Island in the LIPA service area to launch a CCA. Brookhaven, Hempstead, East Hampton, and the Village of Southampton followed suit.
CCA enables Southampton Town’s objective to secure electricity for its residents from 100% renewable sources at the same or a lower price than is being provided by the electric utility. Operational in more than fifty municipalities outside of the LIPA service area, CCA is a New York State program authorized by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
“With CDG, the Town can immediately make demonstrable progress on a CCA program that profoundly benefits our residents, one project at a time,” stated Councilman John Bouvier. He added, “CDG is a new offering within the CCA program that allows for the construction of new, local, renewable generation of electricity and guarantees savings for everyone we assign to the project.” The Southampton CDG program is funded by an 18 cents per kilowatt hour rate known as VDER (value of distributed energy resource) paid by LIPA. There is no cost to the Town or its residents.
In 2018, the PSC approved offering CDG as part of a CCA program. Approved by LIPA in 2020, CCA-enabled CDG has several benefits to a municipality, including annual lease payments for the land on which the solar array will be installed, bill credits generated by the CDG project that the Town Board can distribute to its residents at no charge, and investment in future sustainability efforts in Southampton made by the Town’s CCA Administrator Joule Community Power.
Councilman John Bouvier believes in leading by example, “From these new renewable generators, Town residents get credits on their electric bill, and the Town’s operational costs are reduced which ultimately reduces taxes for its residents. With this project and others that the Town has in its pipeline, we will set an example for other municipalities, and substantially move the needle toward a sustainable future for all that live on Long Island.”