STILLWATER, N.Y. – With Wednesday's groundbreaking, construction is officially underway on New York state's largest lithium-ion battery storage project.
“It’s another large project in Stillwater that brings jobs,” said Stillwater Town Supervisor Ed Kinowski, who’s also the chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors. “It is economic development for our county as well as our town and to our neighboring townships.”
Once complete, Key Capture Energy's project inside the Luther Forest Technology Campus will be able to store up to 20 megawatts of unused electricity — that's enough to power 10,000 homes for an hour straight.
"We have solar energy coming at times when the sun is shining, we have wind power coming in at night and people aren’t necessarily always using that power," said Dan Fitzgerald, the company’s chief development officer and co-founder.
At times of high demand, the power will be pumped back into the grid through the two neighboring transfer stations.
"For the average household they probably won’t even notice it, but that is the good news, they won’t notice it,” Fitzgerald said. “The lights will stay on, the computers will keep running. They will have a steady flow of power when they need it."
“The quality energy that it generates on the grid, that is important," Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership President Marty Vanags said.
Local economic development leaders like Vanags believe it's an attractive recruiting tool, since many manufacturers demand a constant stream of power.
"Having this type of infrastructure, something we can point to and say, ‘We have the infrastructure, we have the facilities, we have the assets that are required to do the kind of work that you want to do,’" Vanags said.
Once up and running by January, the power storage system will help ensure green energy is available for both local businesses and homeowners.
"Everybody is looking for that and this is a project that produces that," Kinowski said.