A proposed moratorium could break the project’s timeline
By Chloe Bennett
The Town of Long Lake proposed a moratorium that could interfere with a planned microgrid in Raquette Lake.
Following public pushback and battery fires in other parts of New York, Long Lake Town Supervisor Clay Arsenault proposed a law for a pause on processing permits for building, including the battery energy storage system project.
If adopted during the town’s next public hearing on Aug. 30, the moratorium would last 12 months. An application from the microgrid’s developer REV Renewables has yet to be filed.
“No new applications for permit or building permit or operating permit for these tier-two battery electric systems will be accepted,” Arsenault said. “And nor will any pending applications continue to be processed or decided by the town board during the moratorium period filed, provided under this local law.”
The law states an extension of the pause could be implemented after the 12 months are up. Some applications submitted during the year could be exempt, the law reads, following a public hearing.
The proposed Adirondack Central Microgrid, a partnership between National Grid, REV Renewables and the Town of Long Lake, is currently planned to be built on about 2.4 acres on Antler’s Road in the hamlet of Raquette Lake. Residents and seasonal visitors have voiced unease about the risks of having the facility in the park’s natural environment. The town board previously sent a letter to National Grid stating that it wished to halt the project.
“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 June 12 letter, sent by email, read.
Many in the community have expressed safety concerns like the possibility of fire and roadway obstructions. In public meetings, residents said the area does not have access to enough emergency resources and personnel. Shortly after an announcement of the energy storage system in April, residents formed a nonprofit to block the installation. “We’re going to fight this every way we can,” Melissa Wilde, member of Protect Raquette, told the Explorer in May.
As of Aug. 2, National Grid said the project had not undergone changes. “National Grid has taken no action on the battery energy storage system in Raquette Lake since the May public meeting so that we can continue to listen and learn from each other in pursuit of a solution to the reliability issues that exist in this area,” Jared Paventi, spokesperson for the utility company said.
The town is also considering altering its comprehensive plan, which now allows for battery storage plants, during the proposed moratorium period.
Written comments about the moratorium and changing the town’s comprehensive plan will be accepted by the town until noon on Aug. 30.