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Boosting Greenport Village’s electrical system by upgrading poles, wiring to withstand intense storms

Greenport officials are working to construct a stronger electrical system in the village that will better sustain harsher weather conditions. 

Village officials approved a resolution Thursday that appointed Susan Stohr of Lake Grove-based SJS Associates to continue to assist with grant funding related to the Greenport Municipal Utility Microgrid Project. 

The project began in late 2018 when the village obtained a New York State Community Development Block Grant for a minimum of $1 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, village administrator Paul Pallas said in a phone interview Friday.

The grant will “reinforce the village’s electric distribution system,” Mr. Pallas said, which includes upgrading to heavy duty electrical poles and wiring to minimize damages and power outages during intense storms.

The project includes the construction of two solar batteries — at the Third Street Firehouse and at the wastewater treatment plant. Solar power charges the batteries, which provide energy to the Moores Lane power plant in case of a power outage.

“Even if there’s an outage … the first line of defense would either be the on-site generator with the battery supplementing and the solar supplementing even further, so that there’s multiple sources of energy for our critical facilities,” Mr. Pallas said.

The village has not yet received an estimate on the cost of the project, Mr. Pallas said. Total funding for the project may change and construction could begin as early as mid-summer.

While Greenport’s electric system extends beyond the village, the grant only covers units within the village. 

“This will still benefit all our customers, even if they’re outside the village,” Mr. Pallas said, because all electrical circuits emanate from the power plant on Moores Lane.

However, as the design process unfolds, the village may choose to extend work beyond village boundaries, which would be funded by the village, Mr. Pallas said.

The resolution approved Thursday was for Ms. Stohr to assist with grant administration services for use of the CDBG funding and to secure state and federal appropriations funding, grants and external funding with a maximum cost of $13,500. The agreement ends Dec. 31.