“Two 5-megawatt solar arrays sited on 65 acres at the western edge of Schenectady County isn’t enough for Amp Energy. Two years after a controversial Special Use Permit approval, they want to add four 53-foot containers of lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) to their project.
Batteries can be sited anywhere. They don’t have to be co-located with solar or wind power plants. Developers can buy cheap electricity from the grid and store it in the batteries. They sell it back to the grid at night increasing the developers’ profits. The energy stored can be generated from fossil fuels. BESS can, and does, explode. The resulting fires release toxic fumes causing nearby homes to be evacuated for days. These electrical fires are nearly impossible to extinguish. Hot spots can flare up at any time and the best solution has been to encase the smoldering batteries in cement. Due to brush fires, the town of Duanesburg has a burn ban for at least four months out of the year. The project site is in the middle of a hay field more than 1,500 feet from Duanesburg Road. The nearest home is 650 feet away. Our volunteer fire departments have limited manpower.
You can make a difference and keep our community safe. Submit written comments today to the town clerk: email@example.com
Attend the public hearing on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. at Duanesburg Town Hall, 5853 Western Turnpike. Zoom and dial in features are available.
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Biggs, Susan. Schenectady Gazette 14 August 2021.