Village conditionally approves battery project, gives go-ahead to minor subdivision

The village Board of Trustees gave the go-ahead Tuesday to the installation of a large lithium battery at 982 Hudson Ave. given a list of conditions are met by the developer. The battery will serve as a power backup to a NYSEG electric transformer that gets overloaded during peak demand and is in need of a $10.5 million upgrade.

The board also approved a minor subdivision for a 17-plus acre parcel at 1006 Hudson Ave. following a brief public hearing in which no one spoke.

The battery project, introduced several months ago by Stillwater Energy LLC, was the subject on an hour-long special meeting on Oct. 2. NYS Electric & Gas (NYSEG), which owns and operates the transformer located in the Town of Stillwater, and a global electric utility group called E-ON were jointly seeking a special use permit from the village to install the battery on private land on Hudson Avenue.

Instead of spending the millions to upgrade the transformer, which overloads during peak periods of high electric demand, NYSEG had 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.

They also looked at windmill and solar power as a “non-wires alternative” to replacing the transform, but the battery was the most economical solution, NYSEG said. The battery would operate at about 20 percent of the transformer replacement cost and last up to 20 years. E-ON would supply the battery and technology to NYSEG under a lease contract.

After conducting a state-required review and determining the battery project would have no significant impact on the environment, Trustees approved the special use permit with the stipulation that Stillwater Energy LCC can meet the following conditions:

That they amended the original site plan and move the battery further back on the property away from Hudson Avenue and three adjacent homes that are located nearby. At a public hearing Sept. 18 some neighbors voiced concerns about the appearance of the battery near their properties. Stillwater Energy will be required to submit revised drawings that must be approved by the mayor.

That various sound surveys be conducted at the property and noise for the battery cannot exceed 10 decibels where the homes stand. Some neighbors also voiced concerns at the public hearing about potential noise from the battery affecting them.

That the village and Stillwater Energy LCC can negotiate a “public benefit fee” or payment in lieu of taxes to the village (payment amount and length of payment to be determined). The board appointed Trustees John Basile and Judith Wood-Shaw to head the village negotiations.

That a variance to erect an eight-foot fence around the battery is approved by the village Zoning Board of Appeals.

That construction of the battery project commences within one year of the special permit approval and is completed within two years. The permit shall otherwise expire.

That Stillwater Energy LCC increase its escrow account deposit with the village to $1,000.

Minor subdivision approved

  • In other business Oct. 2, Trustees approved a minor subdivision application by Michael and Sharon Rich, the owners of 17-plus acres at 1006 Hudson Ave. The owners were proposing to subdivide the property into three parcels whereby Lot 1 and Lot 3 will continue their present use and the construction of a single family home is proposed on Lot 2. The proposal also passed a state-required environmental review and a special use permit was unanimously granted by the board.