The Amagansett firehouse is set to join a handful of other stations on the island that don't rely on the Long Island Power Authority for their electricity. Once LIPA hooks up a meter to the building's newly installed solar system and work finishes on a wind turbine, the firehouse hopes to go off-grid.
The $393,000 project was made possible with $289,000 in grant money from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The district contributed the remainder, a move that some in town saw as a waste of taxpayer money.
Kent Howie, fire district comissioner, believes the move should pay for itself in six to seven years. "The goal at that point is to go to zero as far as our electric bill," Howie said. Currently, the district spends around $11,000 a year on electricity.
Readers might recall the kerfuffle caused by previous efforts to install wind turbines in the area. Fortunately, construction on firehouse property is exempt allowing the project to avoid such roadblocks.