Greenport reluctantly approves solar farm site plan changes
Rosa Acheson is reporting in the Register-Star the Greenport Planning Board voted unanimously Tue., Dec. 27, in favor of a continuation of the site plan modification for the Sunstream Solar facility on County Route 31. "It is a very, very, very sad day, as far as I’m concerned, for the town of Greenport," Planning Board Chairman Edward Stiffler said. "I will vote 'yes' because the law, that I believe in, says you have proven your case — you have complied with SEQRA. But I’ll tell you what, it was probably the toughest decision I have ever made. and all of it could have been avoided with a little bit of honesty and a little bit of cooperation and working together," he said. Issues with the site plan were brought to the board when the town code enforcement officer visited the site and discovered a number of poles had been erected that were outside the scope of the approved site plan. The planning board received the original site plan application two years ago. That application showed underground lines and a single line leading to a single pole to connect to the grid, Stiffler said Tuesday. "I think for whatever reason, we became the victim of a bully, and it’s been a bully since day one," Stiffler said. Sunstream agreed to install six Norway spruce trees on the property to block the view of the utility poles. The trees will be installed by May 1, and will be maintained for up to 10 years. Sunstream Solar, a Pennsylvania-based company, contracted with Dynamic Energy to construct the facility. The field fuels St. Peter's Hospital in Albany. None of the power generated at that location is used locally. Read the full story in the Register-Star.