About Gwendolyn Craig

Gwen is an award-winning journalist covering environmental policy for the Explorer since January 2020. She also takes photos and videos for the Explorer's magazine and website. She is a current member of the Legislative Correspondents Association of New York. Gwen has worked at various news outlets since 2015. Prior to moving to upstate New York, she worked for a D.C. Metro-area public relations firm, producing digital content for clients including the World Health Organization, the Low Income Investment Fund and Rights and Resources Initiative. She has a master's degree in journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She has bachelor's degrees in English and journalism, with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology, from the University of Connecticut. Gwen is also a part-time figure skating coach. Contact her at (518) 524-2902 or gwen@adirondackexplorer.org. Sign up for Gwen’s newsletter here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Jim Blanchard says

    Blue Mt. Lake has a generator to back up that village done by NYSEG! Huge difference in cost and on their own substation lot.

    • Daniel Bogdan says

      The diesel turbine generator at the Blue Mountain substation is rated at 2 MWs, much smaller than the 20 MW battery project proposed for Raquette Lake.

  2. Chris Clough says

    Just concerned about the location. Does it really need to be on a main road within the town? Thought there was another location proposed on 28. Would love not to have to drive by it on my road after a 6 hour drive from NJ to my life long happy place.

    • Rob says

      Request that they set it further off the road and leave to area surrounded by trees. I have a NG power station on some property I hunt. If it wasn’t for the dirt road leading in there off the main road you wouldn’t know it was there since surrounded by trees.
      Or maybe it can be moved to a different location. Not sure on that as it seems property has already been purchased. I’m sure the 10-15 seconds it takes you to drive by there won’t ruin your time at your happy place. Heck if you don’t look at it when you drive by you won’t even know it’s there

    • Mary Blanchard says

      Worse than that would be a fire at the facility and you (and 100’s of others in the summer) would have no egress.
      Mary Blanchard

  3. Worth Gretter says

    I think battery storage is a great idea. We will need a lot more of it as grid starts to rely on more solar and wind, because the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow.
    But the article should be clear on the rating of this installation. It is probably 20 MWhr (megawatt hours) since that is the unit of storage.

    • Paul says

      I agree. I think this sounds great, and probably having it on the main street area rather than in the woods or near the lake is a probably the best spot.

      • Amy Clough says

        The RL site is in a tiny village, in the forest, next to wetlands, lake, single family homes, library, village green, and town transfer station/dump. National Grid’s guidelines to bidders for this project recommend the exact opposite. Hence my wish it was on a farm meaning rural area on flat land. I’m not a NIMBY. I live near a nuclear plant in Westchester County that got shut down much to my dismay. Check out NG guidelines…pages 24 and 25 describe location recommendations including not near public spaces, schools, woods, protected significant natural community, etc.
        Raquette Lake and the Adirondacks are no place for a microgrid lithium battery storage system.

        • C Clough says

          It’s on the only road in town leading to many residents. Some consider it the main street

  4. Paul says

    ““I wish it was down on a farm in the flatlands,” Walters-Clough said.” at least this person is bold enough to say she simply wants it in someone else’s ‘back yard’..

    • Amy Clough says

      Paul ?, this is not a case of NIMBY. I do not wish this enormous battery storage and microgrid anywhere but if it must exist it makes better sense in an isolated space on flat land. Yesterday I was looking at the first lot sold for the 12 tractor trailer sized batteries. (More to come on the subsequent lots?) The land slopes all the way down on bedrock to the wetlands below which in turn flow directly into the nearby lake. National Grid’s guidelines specifically say in their Request for Proposal for this project…”General Zoning and Permitting Guidance pg 25:
      Before securing a site, National Grid recommends the completion of a municipal code review related to a site’s applicable use, setback, fence, residential buffer, noise and lighting regulations. Bidders should additionally be aware of a site’s proximity to other potentially sensitive uses, including schools, residential communities, and places of public assembly.” In RL homes are next door and behind the site, town transfer station/dump is across the street, and a short walk down the hill is our library, village green and the rest of the village. In addition, on page 24 National Grid lists other considerations to make when selecting a property:
       Area is heavily forested and that should be factored in regarding tree clearing and potential fire risks.
       Single-family home adjacent to one of the boundary lines that should be considered
       There is a transmission line that runs close to the property and all physical storage components must be at least 75 feet away from the line.
       Area is listed as part of Habitat Conservation Plan such as a Hemlock Northern Hardwood Forest and a New York Natural Heritage Program (”NHP”) Significant Natural Community.
      The Raquette Lake location checks all those boxes especially the last one since it is located in the heart of the Adirondack Park next to and across from state forest land and lake. If you look at the images of proposed sites in the NG link you will see they are all rural, flat lands and not heavily forested. Whoever is approving and pushing for this location has gone bonkers from the amount of money lining their pockets. In addition, most year round residents have given up on the Long Lake town board and National Grid to provide a community back up generator and have purchased generators for themselves. Anyone who needs help purchasing one, we plan to figure out how to fund ourselves. The word in town is we no longer need back up and most definitely do not want this boondoggle of an excuse for one.

      National Grid, Town of Long Lake and Hamilton County, please cancel this project and save NYS tax payers $$$ and the loads of precious energy NG will be pumping into the storage unit to charge those behemoth batteries. By the way, what is the battery life on these giants? Will there be a regular procession of batteries traveling Routes 28 and 30 in and out of the park? What if one bursts into flames as the cells can spontaneously do or there is a car accident with the truck? In that case, it is not only Raquette Lake that may go up in flames releasing toxic fumes into the community and beyond. This is an Adirondack Park concern as well. I’m all for greening our planet, but not with lithium batteries.

  5. Mary Blanchard says

    Misleading statements to justify this behemoth. I have lived in Raquette Lake for almost 50 years. Power outages are less frequent and I cannot remember any outage lasting days. Do infrequent power outages because of a vehicle/power pole accident or weather related outages justify the exorbitant expense of this, especially considering that many (if not the majority) of Raquette Lake residents own a back up generator?
    How own earth did it get this far along and residents knew nothing about it??

    • Amy Clough says

      Good points Mary. I’d like to quickly add our internet goes out more than our power and for days at a time. How will NG and Rev Renewables remotely monitor their batteries they stuck in our town without our permission when there is no internet? Can all that data, fire monitoring, etc be done through cell phones reliably? They will have the cell towers next door. How convenient is that. Sounds like a well thought out comprehensive plan the town didn’t fully understand and still doesn’t. Is this how democracy works in the Adirondacks?

    • LeRoy Hogan says

      Hello Mary … May you tell us what the exorbiant expense is? THX
      I have a backup generator too and it is loud and produces very scary carbon monoxide.

      • Mary Blanchard says

        It is estimated at $50,000,000.
        The dangers of this in event of a failure are much greater than a generator running for a few days a year (assuming several outages of a few hours in duration of the course of a year).
        Please read all of Amy Clough’s responses.
        Thank you LeRoy

  6. Mike says

    The Adirondack Park definitely needs more giant lithium battery packs with giant solar fields and wind turbines to keep it natural and clean. It will help save the environment.

  7. Rob says

    I suggest the town residents get legal counsel quickly. These things slip through the cracks and before you know it deals are done behind closed doors. The price of legal is worth the piece of mind that your home where you chose to live is not controlled by bureaucratic politics. LiFePO4 batteries are not the latest technology and should only be utilized well away from inhabited areas and utilize power lines to keep distance from towns and city centers. Solid State batteries now on the verge of large scale capacity capabilities should be considered in these situations. The towns people should vote and elect whether they want their money spent this way, not the tail wagging the dog.

  8. Anonymous says

    If that was my town I’d definitely be organizing a group to hire legal assistance, especially since the guy profiting sits on the village board!
    The other thing is that Adk towns are notoriously careless about where they stick ugly stuff like this, from an anesthetic viewpoint. For towns that rely on tourism to the extent they do, they sure can be careless with gravel pits, highway department storage, self-storage buildings, construction company rusted out vehicles, piles of lumber shavings and junk from logging, town dumps… you name the eyesore. Drive through your town and see if through the eyes of the tourist you’re always saying you want to attract!

    • Raquette Lake Resident says

      If you knew more about the Adirondacks, you would know that most of the land is owned by NY State and is not available for use by local governments. Raquette Lake had to spend years getting the NY State Legislature to pass an amendment to the NY State Constitution and then get all of the voters of NY to vote on that, just so they could replace the cancer causing reservoir water supply with a well.

      Adirondack Towns are subject to a vast array of regulations that restrict where the municipal facilities may be located. You do know that unlike any other place in NY State, every single bit of garbage must be trucked outside the Blue Line.

      We are so sorry that we do not meet your need for a charming façade.

  9. Mike says

    Power also comes into Raquette from the Blue Mountain Lake direction via NYSEG. How about spending this money on connecting the “microgrid” area to NYSEG for redundancy? Or subsidize home-sized battery backups for anyone that wants it? Anything is better than this eyesore.

  10. Donald Badura says

    How much longer before the entire APA becomes covered with solar panels, wind turbines, and microgrids? It seems that climate change outweighs the environment.

    • Rob says

      And the government is forcing all this climate change down our throats. Wind turbines and solar panels are coming!!

  11. Paul says

    I know RL pretty well. I am from Saranac Lake and have spent a bit of time there.

    It is not going anywhere near the school. It appears to be on a fairly high and dry spot significantly away from the lake or any wetlands or the library.

    • Mary Blanchard says

      Please read Amy Clough’s description of where the project is proposed to be located. You are incorrect as to your description of the location,

  12. An Adirondack Resident says

    A diesel generator or two would most likely have much less environmental impact and be much less expensive. Just sayin’

    Oh wait, it doesn’t fit the green agenda…

  13. Tim Raab says

    Who pays for the toxic waste removal or mothballing in 10 (~20 max?) years when the batteries are worn out? Taxpapers? Who benefits?

  14. North Point Resident says

    To Dean Pohl: Thank you for leading this effort and having the foresight and conviction to undertake something that will benefit almost all residents of the greater Raquette Lake area. Full time and part time residents at North Point, Greylock, Raquette Shores and other areas around the lake have also had to deal with long power outages, noisy backup generators and LP delivery trucks that travel long distances to service us. This battery storage plan is a good thing.

    To Clay Arsenault: Please be sure that ALL residents and taxpayers in the Raquette Lake area that are likely to be affected by this beneficial addition are kept in the loop of discussion and decision making.

    • william says

      Easy for you to say. You are far from any danger from a fire and don’t have this in your backyard. Lets put it near you. Lots of land in your area.

  15. Long Lake says

    I’ve owned a solar powered off grid battery storage system three hours south of Long Lake for eight years now. I installed nickel iron over lithium batteries because they last 30+ years and are more tolerant to cold compared to lithium. Any kind of battery looses depth of charge if not kept at an optimal temp of 50 degrees. Once you reach 30 degrees the depth of charge and range diminish drastically! Ask any one that owns an EV car how far it goes on a charge when their traveling in temps below 30 or 40 degrees compared to 50 or above! The glaring question is; HOW WILL REV RENEWABLES PLAN ON KEEPING THE BATTERIES AT 50 DEGREES DURING THE WINTER MONTHS or when the power goes down? I plan on permanently moving to Long Lake when I retire. I will be installing a gasoline generator because solar and batteries are NOT reliable or economical in the Great White North of the ADKs.

  16. JFM says

    As I understand this, the battery farm is planned to back feed with temp power in the event of a storm or auto taking out power poles on NYS RTs 28 & 30.The battery farm would function until the primary power is restored. With the exception of the one large ice storm in the last 2 decades, power outages are minimal and last for hours only, not days. NG has been very responsive to correct power outages in this adirondack area and will continue to do so with or without a battery farm.

    lithium batteries are known to catch fire, has caused fatalities, and water is not used to put out a lithium fire. The battery location is UPLAND of the lake, so any fire surpression materials used may contaminate residential wells and the waterbody.

    as a property owner at raquette lake for 20 years, I am not supporting this project, to much risk for the short term service provided. The location is just wrong.


  17. Long Time RLer says

    Not all comments are shown here. Where are mine. Long Time RLer. And, I get no notifications of new comments.

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