Heissenbuttel Award for Planning Excellence: The Heissenbuttel Award is presented to an individual, municipality or agency for outstanding accomplishment in the planning field.
This year’s award recognizes the Village of Red Hook, Village of Tivoli and Town of Red Hook in Dutchess County, NY for their collaborative effort in developing the Red Hook Community Solar Installation. This project, completed in December 2019, resulted in a solar array providing clean, renewable energy to town and village municipal buildings and 250 local residents consistent with Climate Smart Community objectives of each municipality as expressed in the Energy and Climate Action Plan adopted by all three municipalities in 2012. The Village of Red Hook provided the land on 9.5 acres on a Village wellfield that could not be otherwise developed. The Town of Red Hook provided professional planning services for design approvals, construction management and procurement. All three municipalities provided outreach to the public and education about the project through their municipal boards and community events. The project took advantage of grants from Dutchess County and NYSERDA for feasibility studies, legal aspects and zoning amendments to address solar arrays, and site plan approvals. The project also involved a public – private partnership with Suncommon, a regional solar installer, KSI Investments, which financed the costs of construction, and Central Hudson, which facilitated the utility coordination aspects of the project. This successful project can serve as a regional model for climate sensitive, resilient and renewable energy production and is expected to generate 3,000,000 kwh of clean energy per year at reduced costs to participants. Congratulations to the Village and Town of Red Hook and Village of Tivoli on their outstanding collaboration.