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New York regulators greenlight lithium battery storage plant for Holtsville

Holtsville Energy Storage

The New York Public Service Commission has approved a controversial battery storage facility for Holtsville in the Town of Brookhaven over the objection of some residents — and the local board of education — who say the location is too close to schools and could be dangerous for students.

The proposed lithium ion battery facility will store 110 megawatts of power and be operational by 2025. It will also be within a half mile of four schools in the Sachem Central School District.

The board of education opposed the plant, saying that a potential fire there could release harmful chemicals into Holtsville, Holbrook and other nearby communities.

Board members said at a meeting this week that they will investigate what legal action they can take to block the facility, which already got some of the needed approvals from the Town of Brookhaven. A petition urging the town to deny construction permits garnered over 1,000 signatures.

The board did not respond to an interview request. 

Governor Kathy Hochul has created a fire safety working group to identify the cause of recent fires at smaller battery storage facilities throughout the state.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.