BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
With plans in place to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan as soon as 2021 the Town of Stony Point is hopeful an increased demand for electricity will lead to the placement of a natural gas plant at the site of the former Lovett coal-fired station in Tomkins Cove, board members said at Tuesday’s meeting. The hope is that the Lovett site will sit atop the pecking order for new power supply stations due to its proximity to the Algonquin natural gas line and the fact the site has history as a power plant location.
The town and school district’s taxpayers have been hit hard since the settlement of a $220 million lawsuit in favor of the Lovett plant’s former owner Mirant in 2007, the outright closure of Lovett only a few months later and a half-decade of devaluation and intermittent use of neighboring Haverstraw’s Bowline plant. The tax base provided by the two power plants had traditionally kept taxes low in Stony Point and Haverstraw.
A proposal to build a $600 million trash-to-gas energy plant at a former brownfield on Holt Dr. also has the potential to lower taxes for Stony Pointers and all North Rockland School District taxpayers. The project, New Planet Energy’s Stony Point Clean-Tech Campus, has the ability fill town coffers without toxic concerns, say its owners.
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has completed scoping and doing its SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review). As yet, there has been no ruling, Town Supervisor Jim Monaghan said. Both New Planet and the DEC have some details to work out before the next phase of the review.
Monaghan said nothing official has been put in place to market the Lovett site to potential energy producers. The chatter at the board meeting was merely a reaction to the news of Indian Point’s apparent impending closure and the completion of the Algonquin Pipeline running from Stony Point to Buchanan-home to Indian Point Power Plant.
Another project coming downstream, The Champlain-Hudson Power Express was discussed at length at the Board’s January 10 meeting. This project aims to connect hydroelectric energy in Canada to New York City through underground power lines running under railroad right-of-ways, Lake Champlain, the Hudson River and-much to the consternation of residents-several miles of land in Stony Point.
“The Governor’s ideas in trying to solve problems have given the public a hodge-podge of answers. Renewable energy is a laudable good, but there needs to be a real strategy in the way we construct our energy future,” said Deputy Supervisor Tom Basile.
In other news, Supervisor Jim Monaghan told the public that none of the proposed buyers for the former Fiesta Cancun property are yeshivas, despite locals reading things into things.
Kathy Kahn contributed to this report.