Proposed Tesla Megapack facility in New York draws concerns from local residents

New Leaf Energy has introduced a plan to build a 40,000 square foot battery energy storage system (BESS) featuring 24 Tesla Megapack 2XL units in Mount Sinai, New York. The proposed project still needs to clear some hurdles, like a rezoning application that has drawn concerns from local residents.

The project aims to store up to 80 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, enough to power approximately 16,000 homes. The Tesla Megapacks will store excess energy generated from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, and deploy it during periods of high demand or when renewable generation is low.

The proposed site is currently zoned for transitional business. New Leaf Energy has requested a rezoning to light industrial to accommodate the facility. However, the proposal has sparked significant opposition within the community, according to a report by TBR NewsMedia.

At a meeting of the Mount Sinai Civic Association earlier this month, an estimated 70-80% of attendees voiced their concerns, primarily focusing on safety issues and the proximity of lithium-ion batteries to residential areas and the potential for fires.

In response to these concerns, New Leaf Energy said there will be multiple safety measures incorporated into the facility’s design, including advanced thermal management systems, both on-site and remote monitoring. Additionally, the Megapack units will be spaced to minimize fire risks.

To further address community concerns, the Mount Sinai Fire Department reviewed the information provided by New Leaf Energy and did not identify any significant concerns about safety.

Despite the reassurances from New Leaf Energy and the fire department, a petition against the project has been circulating, highlighting safety as a primary concern. The civic association is still in the process of gathering information and has not yet taken an official stance on the proposal. A vote is anticipated in the fall, which will determine the community’s formal position on the development.

If approved, the facility is expected to be operational by the summer of 2027.

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