The proposed Raquette Lake project is ongoing, says National Grid
By Chloe Bennett
A proposed battery storage facility intended to fix outages in Raquette Lake is facing backlash from the town of Long Lake government and thousands of online petitioners.
The Long Lake Town Board sent a letter by email to National Grid on June 12 stating that the town wants to stop the project’s progression. “It is crystal clear to us that the people we represent do not want a battery energy storage system, as currently planned, anywhere in our Town,” the letter read.
The board told National Grid and its partners, REV Renewables, to “cease further work to place a battery energy storage system within the Town of Long Lake, and especially within the heart of the pristine Hamlet of Raquette Lake.”
National Grid responded that it “respects” the concerns but did not indicate it plans to halt the microgrid in the central Adirondacks. “We are committed to delivering reliable energy to each of our 1.7 million electric customers in upstate New York, and we will continue to work with local residents and community leaders to explore opportunities that enhance service and reliability for our customers along Route 28 in an affordable way,” the company wrote.
The online petition on Change.org against the project’s installation accumulated 25,614 signatures as of Monday afternoon.
Since 2010, there have been 83 outages in Raquette Lake with an average duration of 4.9 hours, according to data from National Grid.
The microgrid, an outcome of a 2019 call for proposals looking to address regular outages, would include 12 tractor-trailer-sized modules on about 2.4 acres on Antler’s Road in the hamlet of Raquette Lake. According to National Grid’s bid document, the facility is a less costly and complicated alternative to traditional solutions such as building new supply lines. The estimated cost of the project would be around $50 million.
Residents have cited concerns about the environmental impacts of the battery storage facility, including the possibility of fire and effects on wildlife. According to Long Lake Supervisor Clay Arsenault, it is currently unclear if the town has the power to stop the project. Any changes to the microgrid’s plans would be in collaboration with National Grid and REV Renewables, which has been tasked with building the project, National Grid spokesperson Jared Paventi said.
Mike Vogt, senior vice president of development for REV Renewables, said the company is a leader in energy storage facilities. “Battery energy storage systems are proven to be dependable, safe and effective solutions to improve reliability and integrate clean energy into the electric grid,” Vogt wrote in an email. “REV Renewables is committed to cooperatively serving our partners, customers and the public with reliable, clean energy and we look forward to continuing our relationship with National Grid.”
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