Application submitted for large battery backup on Hudson Avenue, Hillside Avenue water tank work to begin

large battery storage container
A global energy company is seeking a special use permit to house a large battery on Hudson Avenue to help supplement the NYSEG power grid serving Stillwater electric customers.

Plans continue to move forward to enable the installation of a large lithium battery in the village that would serve as power backup to an electric transformer that gets overloaded during peak demand periods.

Village trustees voted Aug. 21 to accept the application for a special use permit from Stillwater Energy Storage LLC for a battery energy storage system on property located at 982 Hudson Ave. The village will be the lead agency for conducting an environmental review of the plans. A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Village Hall.

Representatives from New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) and E-ON, a global electric utility group operating in 30 countries serving Europe and the United States, presented the plans for housing the large battery the size of a tractor-trailer container back in April. At that time the site of choice was the former village water treatment plant on Ferry Lane near the Hudson River. But after further study, that land did not meet their needs so they have turned to a private parcel on Hudson Avenue.

The battery would serve as backup power to a large NYSEG electric transformer that serves the Town and Village of Stillwater. The transformer has reached capacity and is in need of a $10.5 million upgrade. The transformer no longer meets local energy demands, especially during peak times in the summer when air conditioners are running and more electric is being used on the grid.

Instead of spending the millions to upgrade the transformer at this time, NYSEG has been looking for lower cost alternatives, seeking ideas from futuristic companies specializing in new energy technologies. E-ON, which stands for Energy On, specializes in “storage energy” and was chosen by NYSEG from 12 proposals from other companies worldwide.

E-ON’s large lithium battery would have the capability of storing energy to supplement the transformer during peak demand times and recharge itself when demand is low. The battery would be cooled by an air conditioning unit and monitored remotely from a control room in Texas. E-ON has four similar battery storage projects underway — two in Texas, and one each in Arizona and the United Kingdom.

In addition to the special use permit, Stillwater Energy Storage is also seeking a variance from the village Zoning Board of Appeals to install an eight-foot chain link fence on the property to surround and protect the battery.

In other business Aug. 21

  • Village Engineer Ed Hernandez reported that demolition of the Hillside Avenue water tank is expected to begin on Aug. 28. Additional site work including new piping and removal of the existing foundation will begin shortly after the removal of the existing tank. The water tank needs major repairs and instead will be replaced with a new glass-lined tank, most likely in October.
  • Engineering staff is also working to prepare and submit an updated grant application for a water grant to extend new water lines from the new Hillside tank to Hudson Avenue. Grant applications will be submitted before the end of August.
  • Village Trustees approved a contract with Spectrum for Internet service to operate its security cameras at Major Dickinson Children’s Park. The park has experience vandalism over the summer that has been recorded on the park’s three security cameras but the village has not been able to review the recordings due to lack of Internet service there. The Internet service will enable the village to now view park activity remotely by computer. The cost of the service is $59.99 per month plus taxes and fees, and a $99 installation cost.
  • Trustee Judith Wood-Shaw reported that she and town officials met with the Capital District Transportation Authority in an attempt to bring CDTA public bus service to Stillwater. CDTA officials have indicated they may be able to supply funding for a bus that could serve the Village and Town of Stillwater, City of Mechanicville and Town of Malta. More planning meetings are being scheduled.
  • Trustee Judy Wood-Zeno reported that the Stillwater American Legion Post 490 sent a letter of support to a proposal for bringing Project Backboard to the village basketball courts on land owned by the legion.
  • The village set a date of Saturday, Oct. 27 for the annual fall festival and children’s Halloween parade.