Solar Is Pitched for Lots

       If all goes according to plan, solar panels could be cropping up next year on a number of vacant parcels owned by East Hampton Town.

       On Tuesday, the town board, acting at the request of Councilman Dominick Stanzione, agreed to seek bids from solar contractors to lease as many as 14  town-owned parcels, from Wainscott to Montauk. Mr. Stanzione said the project was the first step toward realizing a far-reaching objective adopted last summer by the town’s energy sustainability advisory committee, to which he is the liaison.

       The goal is to reduce the town’s energy consumption by 20 percent over the next decade. Leasees would pay the town an annual fee and make a profit by selling the electricity generated back to the Long Island Power Authority. 

       The program is being offered in conjunction with LIPA, which wants to expand solar power production on the island by 100 megawatts in the coming years through its Clean Solar Initiative, Mr. Stanzione said. LIPA has targeted the five eastern towns for up to 40 megawatts, with individual projects limited to 3-megawatt solar arrays.