Energy Storage Company Eyes Sites near Indian Point

A Texas-based company wants to install a series of energy storage  batteries in Buchanan and Cortlandt that it says would connect with existing infrastructure to ensure reliable electricity, while creating jobs and tax revenue.

The first phase of the proposal — named River Bend Energy  — would be sited on three acres of what is now a parking lot on the grounds of LaFarge building products (also known as CertainTeed) in Buchanan. The site is adjacent to the now-closed Indian Point nuclear power plant, and CertainTeed has transmission easement rights across the site that Jupiter could use.

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The Buchanan proposal would represent an investment of $175 million to $200 million, according to Hans Detweiler, senior director for development with Jupiter Power. Construction would bring an average of 30 to 40 union workers to the site, rising to two or three times that during peak periods.

When completed, the site would have a capacity of 250 megawatts of electricity and generate an estimated $600,000 in annual tax revenue, Detweiler said.

Future components of the proposal, envisioned on as-yet-unspecified parcels in the Town of Cortlandt, could bring the overall capacity to about 1,000 megawatts — roughly equal to the output of one of Indian Point’s two nuclear reactors.

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No formal plans have been filed with either the village or town, although the company made an initial presentation at a Cortlandt Town Board work session in mid-July.

Repurposing infrastructure built to accommodate Indian Point “makes enormous sense … for the next generation of energy projects, to support continued energy development in the area and support renewables like wind and solar,” said Detweiler, who is hoping the first phase could be operating by 2024 or 2025.

The batteries would be charged during periods of low electric use and discharge during times of high use, allowing more renewable energy to be available at times when power isn’t being produced by solar or wind, according to Jupiter.

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Jupiter states its technology runs quietly, and creates no runoff, discharge, vibrations or light pollution. The facilities are operated remotely with safety systems that are constantly monitored. On-site maintenance personnel would help ensure safety, according to the company.

Cortlandt Deputy Town Supervisor Richard Becker, who attended Jupiter’s presentation, called the company’s plans “very preliminary at this point.”

“Although I support battery storage systems, it would depend on where they are located and there would have to be a whole series of criteria, in my mind, for us to proceed,” said Becker, who has announced his candidacy for supervisor in November’s election.

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Becker said Jupiter would need to address safety issues connected with the project’s proximity to Indian Point and the Spectrum Pipeline; the development would have to be almost invisible to the public; create no noise; have no significant impact on traffic or the neighborhood’s quality of life; and receive support from residents.

“It’s a beautiful and historic area that needs to be protected,” he said. “The developers are telling us it meets those criteria … but I’m not sure of that yet. We heard a half-hour presentation.”

Becker said the company’s initial proposal called for either a payment in lieu of taxes agreement or a direct payment of taxes to the town, school district, and village.

Buchanan officials did not reply to a message seeking comment.

7 Comments

  1. This is great it will help the school district with much needed tax revenue,also giving the Town of Cortland the opportunity of a micro grid . If they transform quarry property into a solar farm it potentially offer businesses and residents cheaper electrical rates . I hope the Town council has the foresight to help all the residents and businesses of The town of Cortland

  2. I’d like to know what entergy paid in taxes compared to what this prop would bring. If it’s not the same money or better, it’s not worth it to the community.

  3. This is a great idea but must be a comprehensive plan in conjunction of what developed on the quarry property if they can do some sort of Green Technology to work well with storage it would work well together but we need to do Smart Developement with both these properties ! We need to get it
    “ Right “ from the start so a lot of studies needs to be established before any plans go forward !”we “ lived with 60 years of Nuclear pollution we need to get it right from the start community input is extreamely important we need the residents to be Allies!

  4. When the batteries are no longer working how are they discarded? What if a batterie leaks or there is a fire on the property? Will they need or have people there round clock like and guards there like entergy did? Will they give money to the tri village fire departments to help what was lost apon entergy leaveing? What’s the worst thing that can happen with a set up as this being right on the water and by residential ?

  5. I, Laurie Abbate Ryan, am also a candidate for supervisor. While I was not present at this 1/2 hour meeting, I agree that this is a historical and beautiful area that needs to be protected and that we need a lot more information. Actions speak louder than words. You may recall, some members of this board also sought to approve a power conversion facility as well as a factory to build windmill blades/parts at the Quarry in Verplanck. A large group of residents successfully fought against these so, if we listen to them, it is probably not what they want. While I am not against any investigation, a business such as this as well as a location for it, should be our decision and come after a comprehensive development plan is created or the current master plan is revisited. There can no longer be this hodgepodge of plopping buildings anywhere. The tri-villages have certainly had their share of unsightly (and some probably toxic) buildings and factories dumped in their laps. These are charming villages and hamlets with stunning waterfront property, that need creative and smart development that is not overwhelming, yet allows them to thrive. I also suggest you research Jupiter.

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