Greenport Village considering lease agreement with energy company

The engine at the Greenport Municipal Light and Water Plant. (Credit: File photo)

The Greenport Village Board may vote on a lease agreement that will provide about three acres off Moore’s Lane to a company looking to build a peak-energy power plant on the site.

The draft terms of the lease agreement with Global Common LLC, of Garden City would see the village get paid an annual lease amount of $8,000 per megawwatt, said Robert Foxen, the CEO of Global Common, who spoke at Thursday’s Village Board meeting.

Under that deal, the village would make more money as the capacity of the plant grows. The company hopes to have the plant online by 2018, Mr. Foxen said.

Global Common — which had already built a 54-megawatt peaking plant on Moore’s Lane in the early 2000s — plans to include the project in a response to a recent request for proposals for power plants issued by PSEG Long Island in June. PSEG will make its selections around November, Mr. Foxen said.

Global Common have also applied for a state grant program, and recently won a $100,000 feasibility study for the village.

The proposed “peaking” power plant would only operate during peak energy times, a total of less than 2,000 hours per year, according to the proposal.

The rate of the rent also would increase based on the Consumer Price Index, according to the draft agreement.

In addition, the plant would pay about $802,000 in property taxes initially, Mr. Foxen said. The capacity of the proposed plant, with a starting capacity of 36 megawatts, would increase in phases, to a targeted amount of 69 megawatts in 2030, he added.

In the first year, the rent would be about $288,000, Mr. Foxen said.  

However,Village Attorney Joe Prokop feared that Global Common will challenge their property assessments once the plant is built and try to get their tax bill lowered that way.

“One of the questions I have is protection for the village from real estate [assessment] challenges,” Mr. Prokop said. “Because real estate taxes are a significant component of the revenue that we are counting on in this proposal.”

He said Hawkeye Energy — the company that now owns the plant on Moore’s Lane — has filed challenges to its assessment on the existing plant.

“I think I’d be willing to include language that we won’t challenge [the assessment],” Mr. Foxen replied.

The board asked that Global Common send financial details about the plan as soon as possible so trustees can review them in time to vote on the lease agreement at next Thursday’s board meeting.

“We want to have something that we can look at and review and see if we are comfortable with it before voting,” Mayor George Hubbard Jr. said.

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Photo caption: The engine at the Greenport Municipal Light and Water Plant. (Credit: Suffolk Times, file)