PROPOSAL TO ISSUE MORATORIUM ON APPLICATIONS FOR BATTERY ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS, SOLAR FARMS AND WIND TURBINES
I have developed a compromise proposal to try to be accommodating to the Knollwood country club and at the same time to be sure that going forward the Town acts responsibly with regard to applications for battery energy storage facilities, solar farms, and wind turbines. I announced the proposal at yesterday’s Town Board work session.
My proposal has three parts:
1) We accomodate Knollwood by stating that, if a special permit has satisfactory conditions regarding the environment, public safety and absolute restriction on any further battery energy storage facilities on the land now owned by Knollwood, then the Town Board does not see any reason that the application cannot move forward at this time. Of course, if we adopt a new law governing battery energy storage facilities then additional facilities could be sited on Knollwood if it met the new law.
2) Most importantly for the community, the Town is providing immediate notice that a moratorium may be imposed. Potential applicants are on notice as of today, December 29, 2020, that they could be subject to the moratorium on any and all applications for battery and energy storage facilities, solar farms and wind turbines. The Town Board will engage an expert consultant and appoint a citizens committee to work with the expert to develop appropriate new law for the Town with the goal of being accomodating for green energy and at the same time being protective of our existing residential neighborhoods and of course being protective of the environment and public safety. This committee will be modelled after the successful committee that worked out issues concerning Brightview at Metropolis. The moratorium will have a fixed date and not be subject to renewal. This is in response to concerns some people had that moratoriums tend to get extended. My goal is not to delay but to get the best answers for the community.
3) Knollwood would have to agree that, if it turns out that Knollwood ceases to operate the golf course, whatever it does with the land will be subject to at least significant buffer around the battery energy storage facility. The precise details will be worked out in the special permit.