WARWICK - Orange & Rockland Utilities is reviewing proposals for an alternative energy solution on 25 acres adjoining the controversial Pulpit Rock Inn proposal in Warwick.
The utility received seven proposals in December on a “non-wires alternative” (NWA) means of meeting a growing demand for electricity, utility spokesman Mike Donovan said. Those methods could include solar panels, fuel cells, energy efficient equipment, batteries, or other energy resources.
Two locations are earmarked for the project: One is on 25 acres owned by O&R at the corner of West Street and County Route 1A, and the other would be located among properties between Maple Avenue and Grand Street in the Village of Warwick.
The West Street location is adjacent to nine acres that developer Stephan Kitar hopes to develop into the Pulpit Rock Inn, comprising a 7,000-plus-square-foot main inn and six, eight-unit cottages, each measuring more than 2,000 square feet. The proposal is in its infancy in the planning process. Its proximity to Pulpit Rock – a 15-to-20-foot-tall monolith – has led to protests against Kitar's plan. A petition started by the Village Greenbelt Preservation Society on change.org, asking the Town of Warwick to purchase the lot with community preservation funds, has garnered more than 1,450 signatures.
Kitar has countered the protests with claims that a substation would be built on the corner property next to his. The Request for Proposals issued by O&R last fall said that, although a traditional substation would solve the energy-needs problem, the utility is instead seeking alternatives that wouldn't involve traditional methods and overhead wires.
Orange & Rockland Utilities has not presented any plans to the Warwick town Planning Board, according to planning board chairman Ben Astorino. Although the utility isn't required to go through a formal planning board approval process for such projects, it often appears before the board to alert the board of projects it will undergo, Astorino added.