During the latter half of the Town of Montgomery’s September 26 board meeting, Councilwoman Kristen Brown proposed that the board remove battery storage facilities from its allowed uses for the time being, emphasizing the dangers of recent battery-related fires in the county.
“And we did have a battery storage facility that wanted to go on the town landfill site,” Brown said.. “There was the one fire in the town of Warwick specifically. And lately you’ve seen, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but time and time again there’s, these batteries are catching on fire and police or fire departments are having a hard time putting them out.”
Brown added that the board should wait until the world is better prepared to handle battery safety and incidents.
“We would need to do a local law, to remove it as an allowed use and then let the engineers of the world inspect these batteries, figure out how to make them in the US, making them more safe. So that way, if there’s a fire, they can put them out. Until that research is done, I really am nervous about there being any other future applications in front of this town,” she explained.
Town Supervisor Ronald Feller concurred with Brown’s stance and suggested issuing a moratorium on battery storage for the next few years.
“I thought the possibility of a moratorium for a year or two, keep our zoning goals the way they are. Have a one or two-year moratorium on battery storage plants until, like you said, the technology comes up to meet our standards,” Feller said.
The board agreed to research and draft a moratorium in the coming days.
The town board, last year, heard a presentation from Bay Wa r.e, a renewable energy company with a proposal to develop a Lithium-Ion battery storage facility at the site of the former Town of Montgomery landfill on Lake Osiris Road. The plans were eventually tabled.