Battery energy storage system eyed for North Amherst

  • Solar panels in Amherst. Staff file photo

Staff Writer
Published: 9/22/2022 2:41:26 PM
Modified: 9/22/2022 2:40:46 PM

AMHERST — A vacant parcel near the Sunderland town line where a garden and gift store was once located could be used for an 18.87-megawatt battery system.

Josh Lariscy, project development director for BlueWave Solar, told the Conservation Commission at its Sept. 14 meeting, where a hearing on a notice of intent filing began, that the project would fit into the state’s Clean Peak Energy Standard program that promotes renewable energy.

The project would be developed in proximity to existing solar arrays and would be a short distance from an Eversource substation, connected to that by overhead and underground wires.

Battery energy storage systems enable energy from renewables, like solar, to be stored and then released when customers need power.

Being developed for BWC Eastman Brook LLC of Boston, the lithium ion batteries would go on about 1 acre of an open field, formerly tilled for agricultural uses and owned by the Chang family of South Deerfield.

Plans show six concrete pads to hold inverters, transformers and electrical switch gear, as well as numerous battery containers and crushed stone on which the equipment would be placed. Development would take up about 7,500 square feet.

A U-shaped gravel driveway that was formerly used for Annie’s Garden and Gift Store, with its building demolished in the spring of 2019, remains and would allow access to the system, surrounded by a chain link fence 7 feet high.

Lariscy said all work would be done outside the 50-foot no-work wetland zone.

Because no site visit had yet occurred, the applicant will return to the Conservation Commission meeting next Wednesday at 7:50 p.m. The applicant will also file for a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at


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