Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Microgrid proposed for Raquette Lake

These battery modules, supplied by the battery company BYD, show a similar-sized project to the one proposed in the hamlet of Raquette Lake. Photo courtesy of BYD

It’s the final countdown to the state budget, which was due on Saturday. We will keep you posted. It will be interesting to see if the Environmental Protection Fund gets a boost, and if Adirondack Park projects are carved out.

As that state works to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, developers are looking closely at the Adirondack Park. We’ve been writing mostly about large-scale solar projects, but we learned that a battery back-up system is also proposed in the park.

The hamlet of Raquette Lake could be the host site of 12 tractor-trailer-sized batteries that would work as a microgid. They would supply back-up energy from Raquette Lake to Old Forge, an area that experiences monthly power outages. Some residents have questions and concerns about the project. We tried answering some of those questions here.

These battery modules, supplied by the battery company BYD, show a similar-sized project to the one proposed in the hamlet of Raquette Lake. Photo courtesy of BYD

This first appeared in Gwen’s “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Gwen is the environmental policy reporter for Adirondack Explorer.

6 Responses

  1. gene porter says:

    It would be helpful if articles like this would clearly distinguish between the relative need for back up power at the residential level due to storm damage of the retail distribution lines and the need for central station backup power to guard against storm damage to majr supply lines. Its not obvious how the depicted centralized battery would help with widely scattered local storm damage inn the Adirondack woods

    The article seems silent on the very different value of,. and need for, batteries to level out the requirements of peak loads for power that exceeds the capacity of the major supply ;Ines and that is now met by standby fissile fuel generators.

  2. Mary Henry says:

    Thank you Gene Porter for helping me understand how these huge storage batteries power the remote transmission lines.

    I rely on my wood stove to back up electric heat. The power doesn’t go out every month and does not go out for two days.

    The electricity to store in these batteries apparently comes from the grid that they give back to the grid. I think there is a payment involved in this transaction and the consumers will see their bills increase.

    These trailers must travel over a narrow county road. There is a proposed transmission line over a swamp and a scenic tributary to Raquette Lake.

    I would like to have several information gatherings in Raquette Lake and information given to the Town of Long Lake, Hamilton County and the APA. Those entities may not require permits but information doesn’t hurt.

    • Paul says:

      Mary, can you please show us on the APA wetlands map where this “swamp” is you are referring to?
      Thanks. Just want to be sure this is an accurate comment.

  3. Boreas says:

    Opponents only oppose. Proponents only propose. Nothing new is ever built that pleases everyone. The key is getting a consensus agreement, not a simple majority. In order to do this, all parties need to come together, hear and digest the same facts, and ONLY THEN decide whether to advance a project. Funding, siting, footprint, transmission, fire and pollution safety, etc. may all need to be massaged to get a consensus. And as usual, a risk vs. benefit analysis of the “best” plan should be widely distributed to the residents before the project should get a green light.

    People in the North Country are not strangers to power outages. Most families that rely on electricity for critical health or commercial reasons usually have generators. In my community situated at the end of a power line spur, many of the residents have added automatic propane generators to their property. When you live “downstream” on the electrical grid, this is one of the few options. This requires a $10-20k expenditure for a simple household generator. Sometimes, bolstering the power grid with supplemental storage in a remote or poorly-serviced community can be cheaper for the residents than each family shouldering the burden themselves. But I have lived long enough to realize that no huge strides are occurring in updating and protecting power grids.

  4. Paul says:

    Why just repeat a story you already had on the site that is partnered with this one?

  5. Raymond marsh says:

    Waste of money not needed or wanted by the residents isn’t there anything out there that is not for sale. This is the adirondack park for gods sake

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