The town of Darien might be getting a new generator that would provide power for all of town hall and the Mather Center.

The generator would be installed along the south side of the existing town hall building, at the intersection of Renshaw Road and Park Place.

The generator was approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission at its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

It now needs to be approved by the RTM.

At the Sept. 24 P&Z public hearing, Ed Gentile, director of the Darien Public Works Department, said the town’s existing generator would be replaced with a new, big one.

“The existing generator in town covers a very, very small portion of the town hall,” Gentile said.

With the new generator, during outages and emergency situations, “we’ll be able to use the entire building, day and night, for any type of services,” he said. “Along with the natural gas power and equipment in the kitchen, we’d be able to have meals, [and] support people if they needed us to, in this facility.”

That was the “game plan” from day one, he added.

Commission Chairman Stephen Olvany said in the past, when the power went out in town, residents in need of an emergency shelter had to go to the high school or middle school.

The new generator would be “consistent with our master plan,” Olvany said.

Gentile said the reason the town would place it on the south side of the building is that corner is where all the electrical equipment is currently located, along with the four transformers from Eversource Energy.

Eversource is working with the town on this project.

Aside from the new generator, three of the four transformers would be removed and a new transformer would be placed in the same location.

“We’ll be providing screening and fencing,” Gentile said.

There would be a wall for retaining the soil, and a fence on top of that wall. It would be eight feet high and there would be six- to eight-foot-high screening across the front of it and around the side, according to Gentile.

The same type of screening would be built around the transformer as well.

“We are going to bury this generator about three and a half feet below grade on one end and flush with grade at the other to provide some additional screening,” Gentile said.

There would be a tank underneath the generator, which holds about 2,600 gallons. It’s double walled, and has 110 percent holding capability, according to Gentile.

The diesel tank is identical to the one at the Darien Library, “except while that one is on a pedestal, we are going to put ours below grade for a portion of it,” Gentile said.

During the general meeting portion of the Sept. 24 P&Z meeting, Olvany said a large generator has been approved at the library, police station, and at every single school in town.

“The new state-of-the-art generators are very, very quiet,” Olvany said, in response to a question about the sound bothering neighbors.

The generator would be tested once a week in the morning for about 30 minutes.

Watch the full meeting on Darien TV79.

sfox@darientimes.com