Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

June 29, 2023

Dan Keefe | (518) 486-1868 |

New York State Parks Announces $750,000 Solar Energy Project at Hither Hills State Park

Long Island park upgrade moves State Parks one step closer to being powered by renewables by 2030

State Parks' 50th solar project since 2012, 15 percent of the agency's total electrical needs now covered by solar power

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) today announced that a newly installed solar array now provides carbon-free, sustainable power at Hither Hills State Park in Montauk. This shift to power Hither Hills with solar builds on New York's nation-leading climate goals and Governor Kathy Hochul's effort to increase use of renewable energy across all state properties.

"State Parks is proud to continue our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and lead by example for other state agencies," said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. "We intend to keep scaling up our solar capacity and produce enough power to be running fully on renewables by 2030. Hither Hills is one more emblematic project that allows us to move the needle."

The agency has committed to transitioning to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030, and this project takes State Parks closer to that goal. Now fully installed and operational, Hither Hills is the 50th solar powered project statewide since 2012. Using daylight harvesting to offset electrical usage, the $750,000 project brings State Parks' total solar production to 6.2 MW installed statewide -- including 15 ground-mount, 30 roof-mount, and five pole-mount systems -- covering around 15 percent of the agency's total annual electricity consumption.

This project is impactful because Long Island is the largest electricity user in the state park system, accounting for about 30 percent of the agency's overall electricity usage. Long Island also has the highest electricity costs per watt. Commissioner Kulleseid shared that the new 262-kilowatt solar array system is projected to generate 360,000 kWh per year at the Suffolk County park, covering Hither Hills' entire electricity usage and saving around $45,000 annually on electricity bills.

Parks' staff provided the labor for the solar project, which included undertaking the site work and installing the solar array.

State Senator Anthony Palumbo said, "The Hither Hills State Park Solar project is an important step in achieving New York's clean energy goals and will help to ensure the sustainability of our region's magnificent State Parks and recreational sites for future generations."

Assemblymember Fred Thiele said, "I commend State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for committing to transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2030. The installation of the solar array at Hither Hills State Park not only brings  us a step closer to meeting this commitment to renewable energy but also showcases our State's leadership in sustainable power generation. This project exemplifies a dedication to achieving a sustainable and environmentally responsible community."

Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone said, "Solar power is an important step in Long Island's clean energy future, and this project at Hither Hills State Park in Montauk stands as a testament to New York State's commitment to renewable energy. By utilizing solar energy, we are not only protecting our environment but also ensuring a brighter future for generations to come. I would like to thank Governor Hochul for her continued leadership and commitment to a greener New York." 

East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said, "I congratulate NYS Parks on its commitment to renewable energy and on completing the solar installation that will serve the energy needs at Hither Hills State Park. This step will complement the Town's efforts to reach a goal of using 100 percent renewable energy, which includes the first municipal solar-plus-battery storage project on Long Island, completed this spring at our Town Hall campus with the help of the NY State Energy Research and Development Authority." 

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which saw a record 79.5 million visits in 2022. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.