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Hudson looking at solar farm to create revenue

Mar 09, 2021 4:30 pm

Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Hudson Common Council is looking at the possibility of turning the city-owned North Second Street Extension property into a solar farm as a way to generate revenue for the city. An ad hoc committee made up of council President Thomas DePietro, 4th Ward Alderperson John Rosenthal, 2nd Ward Alderperson Dewan Sarowar and 3rd Ward Alderperson Calvin Lewis, is looking into identifying a supplier to build a farm on the property. The property is an empty field accessible through a steep path into the woods off Second Street. The assessed value of the property is $278,600, according to property records, and consists of 5.3 primary acres, 4.0 residual acres and more than 50 acres of wetland. The solar farm would be developed on the non-wetland area above the Charles William Park playground on Mill Street, Rosenthal said. DePietro sees building a solar farm as the most plausible revenue source for the city. The city could see savings from a purchase agreement with the solar property and also receive revenue from the company lease, Rosenthal said. “We haven’t yet determined what kind of arrangement might best serve the city,” DePietro said. “But a steady income stream from a ground lease seems most beneficial, with none of the problems of regular rental leases.” Ground leases, or land leases, separate ownership from the land and what goes on it, according to material produced by DePietro. Land leases typically last between 50 and 99 years. The committee will next determine if they need to put out a request for proposals or approach vendors, Rosenthal said. DePietro said there are two or three companies already interested. The city of Hudson currently buys into the Greenport-based solar field, East Light Partners, Rosenthal said. That arrangement gives a 10 percent discount to the city on its power bill. NOTE: DePietro is a WGXC volunteer on-air programmer. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.