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London company eyes former Babe Ruth League field

August 13, 2019 07:10 pm

Columbia-Greene Media

CATSKILL — A London energy company expressed interest in purchasing town property for an energy storage project, town officials said.

Coronation Power is looking at a 3.69-acre site for its project.

The company has focused on wind farms throughout the United Kingdom since 2004 and is now turning its attention to energy storage, according to Coronation’s website.

The Catskill Town Board decided not to take up Coronation’s offer because of the complex stipulations of selling town property, Town Supervisor Doreen Davis said Tuesday.

“Because it’s town land and there is a fair amount of rigor involved, we are not interested in pursuing it,” Davis said.

For example, any sale of town land requires a public referendum, Davis said.

The land was previously leased by the Babe Ruth Baseball League, Davis said, and is also considered to be part of the town’s rural cemetery.

The Babe Ruth League folded in 2011. Former Catskill High School principal Richard G. Stickles Jr. served as one of many league coaches ove the years and was a member of the league board of directors. Stickles died April 6, 2016 at Barnwell Nursing Home in Valatie. He was 86.

By law, towns are required to take over ownership of rural cemeteries, Davis said.

“[The property] was taken over by resolution in 2006,” she said.

Much of the rural cemetery had been taken over by the state under eminent domain, Davis said.

“In 1966 the landscape changed for the rural cemetery and a new map was created due to the state taking over part of the land for the new Catskill-South Cairo highway exit on 9W,” she said.

The remaining 3.69-acre parcel is landlocked with no right of way, Davis said.

Coronation Power is seeking sites with a total capacity of 500 megawatts of energy storage, according to the company’s website. Energy would be captured and contained in five giant batteries at the site.

“Our search is currently focused on the north of England, Scotland and Wales where we are in the process of identifying up to 25 potential sites to take through the planning process,” according to the website.

Coronation did not reply to email requests for comment on the Catskill proposal.

Coronation Power looks for sites that are close to electrical substations in areas of high energy demand or where there are existing solar or wind farms, according to the website. The company considers factors such as the ecology of the site, heritage designations, current land use, flood risk and proximity to residential properties.