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Southold to advertise a request for proposals for renewable energy system at town transfer station

The Southold Town Board voted last Tuesday to begin advertising a request for proposals for the “development, construction, operation and maintenance of a renewable energy system or systems,” at the town transfer station in Cutchogue, according to a resolution. The RFP includes, but is not limited to, battery energy storage and/or solar photovoltaic systems.

Town attorney Bill Duffy said the board wanted to open the door to new options.

“Instead of it just being solar, it seems battery storage is a new type of renewable energy and, just based on some of the people in the industry we’ve talked to, they’re expecting Long Island Power Authority to issue an RFP for that soon,” he said. “So, we want to be prepared to have plans ready to go for that, because there’s some indication that there haven’t been a lot of RFPs for solar lately.”

Prior coverage: Proposed solar project has other companies interested

The board didn’t want to enter into a lease agreement, Mr. Duffy said, because they usually entail a two-year option, during which involved parties do their due diligence and secure their purchase power agreement with LIPA and PSEG.

“If we do that for a solar project that’s never going to come to fruition, we miss out on this battery storage, which could be somewhat lucrative for the town,” Mr. Duffy said.

The board additionally adopted a local law, of which the core goals were already being fulfilled, as a legal measure, Mr. Duffy said. Under the local law, war veterans and gold star parents are provided a property tax exemption if they are tenant-stakeholders in cooperative apartment corporations. 

“With a co-op,” Mr. Duffy explained, “you own a share and the whole corporation gets taxed on the property, so with veteran-owned shares, a portion of their shares will get reduced by [a certain amount]. It’s actually been in effect and they have been giving it. They didn’t realize at the time when it was passed that they actually needed the Town Board to have a public hearing before they do it, so we’re really just doing a little bit of housekeeping.”

No one spoke at the associated public hearing held before the vote.