Somers Officials Speak Out Against Battery Storage Facility

County and town officials in Westchester are speaking out against a proposed battery storage facility in the Hudson Valley that may pose safety concerns and has already garnered an opposing petition from residents. 

The proposed facility would be located at 24 Miller Rd. in Mahopac.

The proposed facility would be located at 24 Miller Rd. in Mahopac.

Photo Credit: Google Maps

The lithium battery storage facility, proposed by East Point Energy, would be located in the Putnam County hamlet of Mahopac at 24 Miller Rd., in close proximity to the town of Somers in Northern Westchester, according to Somers Town Supervisor Robert Scorrano. 

According to the proposed facility's developers, the site's batteries would use the area's electrical grid to charge during periods of low demand and give back energy during periods of high demand. 

Developers said during a September 2023 meeting of the Carmel Planning Board that this could include providing temporary power to homes during outages. 

Developers also said during the September meeting that the 116-megawatt facility would help provide clean energy in the area and would be isolated from Carmel and Somers homes.

However, this has not stopped officials in Westchester from speaking out against the facility, which they say could pose risks to nearby residents. 

"I have genuine concerns about this project and will be closely following its development," Westchester County Executive George Latimer said in a statement on Wednesday, April 24. 

Latimer continued, "It's crucial to me that any potential risks to our communities are thoroughly addressed. We trust that the Town will address this matter in its land use deliberations, and we eagerly anticipate participating in the process by providing further comments as it progresses.” 

In a letter to the Carmel Planning Board dated Tuesday, April 2, Scorrano also said the town of Somers opposes the proposal. 

"As the neighboring town's supervisor, the safety and well-being of the residents of Somers and Carmel must take precedence," Scorrano wrote, adding, "It's essential to carefully evaluate the suitability of the location for the project, especially since it's near a residential area and the Muscoot Reservoir Basin." 

In his letter, Scorrano wrote that the project may create water pollution concerns, and runoff must be prevented or mitigated. 

Additionally, any fire at the facility could put significant strain on surrounding volunteer fire departments, as the current approach for such facilities is to let the blaze burn while cooling surrounding units, according to Scorrano.

"The Town of Somers strongly opposes the proposed project and has expressed our concerns regarding the potential risks and challenges it may bring to our communities," Scorrano wrote. 

The proposal has also created outrage amongst residents in the area, who started a petition in opposition to the facility that has garnered over 2,100 signatures. 

"A fire at this proposed facility could have disastrous consequences for our homes and families," the petition's page reads. 

The petition's creator, Monica Goulart, continued, "Our communities in Mahopac, Baldwin Place, and Somers are primarily residential, with schools, parks, and homes that could be negatively impacted by this development. 

"We value the safety of our children, the cleanliness of our water supply, and the tranquility of our neighborhoods." 

The petition can be viewed by clicking here. 

This is a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates. 

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