News, Politics, and Culture from 14895

By Doris MacFarquhar

Alfred Town Talk: Battery Storage, ATVs, and Tentative Budget



Dan Acton, Supervisor

Most of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of battery storage and to facilitate this discussion, we invited specialists, including representatives from LaBella Engineers, Northland Power, and EBRG Engineers. In particular we were concerned about battery storage at the proposed solar project on McAndrews Road.  As a reminder to the reader this project is 100 megawatts with 20 megawatts of battery storage and is being proposed by Northland Power. The board’s concern was in response to the recent battery storage fire in Jefferson County. We were informed that a root-cause analysis is being done for the Jefferson County fire to determine the cause. It is expected that additional safety measures will be required as a result of this analysis.

In the discussion we were informed that battery storage for the Northland Power project would consist of 16 to 17 individual enclosed battery units spaced apart from one another. Lithium-Iron-phosphate batteries will be used, and these are reported to be more stable than lithium-ion batteries. The state has permitting authority for projects of this size, however, our town laws for battery storage must be followed.

Next on the agenda was town resident Tom Nardi who addressed the board on the topic of ATVs on town roads. ATVs are not permitted on town roads; however, a few people are not following the law. He requested and the highway superintendent agreed to post several town roads where this most often occurs.

The supervisor reported that a tentative 2024 budget has been prepared. Whereas there were no suggested changes, the budget will be put up for a public hearing in November.

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