A large-scale energy storage facility is being proposed for the former Town of Montgomery Landfill site on Lake Osiris Road.
Chris Lazinski, a representative of BayWa r.e., said the battery storage facility would lease the town-owned property near the Central Hudson transformer, generate electricity and would bring economic benefits to the Town of Montgomery.
BayWa is Germany’s ‘John Deere,’ according to Lazinski, a Gardiner native who now makes his home in Minnesota. He said the Munich-based company has been involved in renewable energy since the 1990s.
“Brownfields don’t have too many other uses,” Lazinski said.
According to the company’s website, BayWa r.e., offers customized energy solutions to help organizations reduce their cost of energy, improve their energy resilience and meet their sustainability and carbon reduction goals with solar, battery storage and other clean energy technologies.
While the site is 20 acres, Lazinski said the application would require only two to five acres, and could be continued within the existing footprint of the substation. Bay Wa would sign a 20-year lease at a rate of $75,000 per acre, per year. (At five acres, that would result in $375,000 in income for the town each year.) The company would make partial payments during the approval and construction phase of the process and only pay the full amount once the facility was up in operation and able to generate revenue
Deputy Supervisor Ron Feller asked if the batteries stored on the site would be new or recycled.
Lazinski said it could be either.
“My hunch is that they will be new,” he added. “There are potential paths we could take there.”
Town Supervisor Brian Maher asked about a recent fire at a battery storage facility in Arizona, and whether or not that could happen here. According to published reports, firefighters were called to the AES Battery Warehouse in Chandler, AZ on April 18, where 3,000 lithium batteries were stored. The fire at that facility smoldered for nearly two weeks, as nearby families were ordered to evacuate.
Lazinski blamed that fire on faulty container design and on a lack of coordination between the battery company and local firefighters.
According to one published report, firefighters decided to let the sprinkler system do its job and opted not to go into the building.
“Fire is a realistically very low probability,” Lazinski said, adding that local fire departments would need proper training, the lack of which made the Arizona problem worse.
For the most part, Lazinski said, the site would be operated remotely and that there would not be someone on the site at all times. In an emergency, though, someone would be available to respond. Once the initial construction is completed, there would not be much traffic going in or out of the site on a regular basis.
“We aren’t going to take any action tonight. We have a meeting scheduled for October 6,” said Maher. “I think the board, if I’m speaking for everybody, is very receptive towards this design. This would probably be the second battery storage facility, depending on who gets to the planning board or through the planning process first. It’s something that I don’t think this community or this board is against, especially with the potential benefits to, you know, increase revenue for our budget.”