East Hampton Town Participates in Energy Load Relief Program During Heat Wave

Propane generators, like this own that serves the East Hampton Town Senior Center, are used during peak demand events. Courtesy Department of Natural Resources.

The Town of East Hampton is participating in an energy savings program that has already relieved demand on the power grid during the recent heat wave, and will continue to do so this summer. The South Fork Peak Savers Load Relief Program will also help maintain reliable electric service and avoid brownouts for residents and businesses.

The town opted into the LIPA/PSEG Long Island program developed to reduce the electrical demand on the South Fork by eight megawatts. During peak demand events, the town used propane-powered generators to power several town buildings during four-hour periods on July 20, July 22, July 27, and July 28.

A peak demand event occurs when a greater than normal energy usage is expected in the area, such as a period of time when temperatures are soaring. The town has the option to take part by removing some of its buildings from the grid for the designated period of time, the town said in a statement about the program.

Generators were used at three buildings on the main Town Hall campus — the Parks Department, the police garage and food pantry — as well as the East Hampton Town Senior Center.

“For each event, the town is able to shed approximately 100 kilowatt of demand from the grid,” the statement explained. “At the end of the summer season (Sept. 30) the total amount of load shed provided by the Town will be calculated.” The town will then receive $110 per KW of energy saved, plus a fuel stipend payment.

“The Peak Savers program has resulted, overall for the East Hampton community, in approximately 2 megawatts of peak load reduction through energy efficiency improvements. Participation in load relief events, including the town’s participation, is shaving demand for approximately 350 kW of energy from the grid during peak times.”

“Energy efficiency and load relief efforts can be temporarily effective, but are only stopgap measures,” East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said in a statement. “The need for reliable, renewable energy, such as the wind power that the South Fork Wind Farm will generate, is even more important now, with more people choosing to spend their time in East Hampton due to the pandemic.”

Town officials are continuing in negotiations to allow for a South Fork Wind Farm cable landing for a renewable energy supply.

The town also noted that the nearly 2,800 thermostats connected to a “demand response management system” that allows the utility to control them during peak load events, are reducing the summer peak demand by about 2.8 megawatts.

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