Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino stood proudly at his government’s one-of-a-kind renewable energy park as he announced that his township has been named a “Clean Energy Community” by New York State. The designation recognizes important clean energy accomplishments while qualifying the town for grant funding for additional projects focused on reducing the carbon footprint that our communities leave on the planet. Joining Santino at a press conference were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and Councilman Anthony D’Esposito.
“It is exciting to work hard to create a cleaner environment for our families and future generations,” stated Santino. “The ‘Clean Energy Community’ designation by New York State recognizes our work on behalf of the environment and will also provide valuable grant funding so that we can pursue additional ecological priorities.”
The Town of Hempstead was recently notified that it had been selected for the prestigious designation of “Clean Energy Community” by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The designation recognizes the municipality’s leadership in reducing energy usage, cutting costs and promoting renewable energy. Hempstead Town was selected based upon four specific initiatives in the area of clean energy. First, America’s largest township has implemented a unified solar permitting initiative, which freezes permit fees for homeowners and business owners who wish to install solar technology at a low rate of $100. The permitting process has also been streamlined for quick processing and ease of use. The township’s second undertaking encompassed the installation of a compressed natural gas/ hydrogen fueling station which powers natural gas and fuel cell vehicles. The third town effort recognized by New York State was the township’s massive conversion of 50,000 streetlamps from conventional bulbs to high efficiency L.E.D. fixtures. The new fixtures will save taxpayers $43 million over 20 years, largely as a result of the reduced energy usage associated with the new lighting elements. Finally, Santino has overseen the implementation of Energy Code Enforcement training for the municipality’s building inspectors. The training promotes energy efficient construction of new homes and commercial structures.
“Congratulations to the Town of Hempstead on their Clean Energy Community designation and for taking control of their clean energy future,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we are empowering community leaders to drive broader adoption of renewable energy and clean technologies to protect the environment and cut energy costs.”
“Our township has taken a leadership role in helping to conserve and protect natural resources,” said Goosby. “Our one-of-a-kind renewable energy park is demonstrating the tangible benefits of our planet-friendly agenda.”
The officials indicated that the town will complete its application for the $150,000 NYSERDA grant associated with the township’s designation as a “clean energy community.” They intend to use the monies for increased solar energy applications at town facilities. Santino’s government has already put in place approximately a dozen solar applications across the town. These solar installations include a 40Kw unit on the roof of town hall, a solar/wind powered shellfish nursery in Point Lookout, solar car ports/charging stations, hi-tech solar tracking devices at the renewable energy park, a solar field, and a variety of applications at town parks and the municipality’s highway yard. While Santino’s administration has not determined the locations for the planned solar installations that will be constructed with the grant money, his “clean energy team” is looking at parks and other municipal facilities as prospective sites for the new photovoltaic technology projects.
“Hempstead Town has taken a leadership role in protecting the environment,” announced D’Esposito. “I am looking forward to implementing new projects that will help keep our planet ‘green and clean’ for generations to come.”
Announced by Governor Cuomo in August, the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local government leaders across the State to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities. Clean Energy Communities advances the Governor’s Reforming the Energy (REV) strategy by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York reach its Clean Energy Standard of 50 percent of the state’s electricity coming from renewable energy resources by 2030.
“Hempstead Town’s future will be bright, thanks to additional solar energy projects that our government will be able to pursue with NYSERDA’s $150,000 in grant funding,” concluded Santino. “I am proud of the environmental record we have built and excited about the challenge to create an even ‘greener’ legacy.”