Nyce: What if North Fork towns came off the LIPA grid?

02/15/2011 3:09 PM |

Could Riverhead and Southold towns come off the Long Island Power Authority grid and save residents money while making more electricity available to the rest of the island, where most consumers rely on LIPA?

It’s an idea Greenport Mayor David Nyce, a longtime proponent of green energy, is pushing. He sees wind turbines, which could be built in Greenport, giving the whole North Fork energy independence.

The concept drew applause from state Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) at last Thursday’s annual environmental roundtable in Selden, an event he holds every year with elected and appointed officials, environmentalists, community members, sportsmen and others.

“I’ve always thought outside of the box and I appreciate people who are creative and think out of the box,” the senator said in praise of Mr. Nyce’s suggestion, which he pitched at the event.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter, who did not attend, was skeptical. “I don’t think the technology is anywhere near doing anything like that,” he commented Tuesday.

Mr. Nyce has had discussions with Southold Supervisor Scott Russell, who says he has been eager to explore alternative and renewable energy sources.

“The village is in a good position because it owns its own distribution system,” Mr. Russell commented this week. “We’re certainly working together” to explore all options, he said.

What’s stopping Mr. Nyce from getting very far with his idea is a restriction imposed by the New York Power Authority, which regulates the village-owned utility, Greenport Electric. To protect the profitability of upstate hydroelectric suppliers, NYPA prohibits all municipal utilities from producing electricity for their own consumers.

Mr. Nyce said he has identified two sites in Greenport that he believes are well situated to produce enough energy to make the plan viable. One is the former scavenger waste plant on Moore’s Lane. Southold Town has removed the plant and restored the site. The second is at Clark’s Beach, near the Audubon Society’s Red House on Route 48. The village still owns part of the beach and could erect a tower there, the mayor said.

On another topic, Mr. Nyce suggested at the roundtable that East End villages and towns cooperate in creating a single design that could be employed at street endings throughout the area to handle stormwater runoff.

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Comments

comments

9 Comment

  • That is the most irrational idea yet to come from the mind of the Mayor. If you can’t keep the one square mile in order how can you possibly build and maitain generation for this larger area?

  • Hey this is a great idea! We put wind turbines on Plum Island, and maybe a solar farm on the Garbage Transfer station in Cutchogue, and offer reduced rate power to the town. Then all we need to do is hire 200 employees to maintain the system, provide them with health benefits, retirement, union wages, oh wait. Forget it.

  • I have a better idea. Allow LIPA to reactivate the Shoreham nuclear reactor. Cheap, clean, unlimited energy. When it’s fully ramped up, toss all the greenie weenies into fuel rod pool and let them sink or swim. Wind power worked in the 17th century Netherlands, it ain’t never gonna work now. Quixotic thinking like wind power belongs to the Flat earth proponents, not modern rational thinkers.

  • I have a better idea. Allow LIPA to reactivate the Shoreham nuclear reactor. Cheap, clean, unlimited energy. When it’s fully ramped up, toss all the greenie weenies into fuel rod pool and let them sink or swim. Wind power worked in the 17th century Netherlands, it ain’t never gonna work now. Quixotic thinking like wind power belongs to the Flat earth proponents, not modern rational thinkers.

  • “Wind power worked in the 17th century Netherlands, it ain’t never gonna work now.” It still does, the windmills changed into turbines that spread from fields out into the north see. I guess that’s why the modern rational thinkers came up with the ways to upgrade the windmills…

  • Karl Marx just rolled in his grave.

  • The first six comments are at least ten years behind the times. There will be an awakening. Many countries around the world and parts of the US (including Texas) have already recognized the reality that the oil era is ending. The sooner the North Fork wakes up the better.

  • Benja, would you please describe the alternative energy systems that you use at your house? I would like to learn from such a progressive person as yourself. Do you use solar? Wind? Or do you just recycle manure?

  • Exactly why it should be owned by private investors.