ew York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the creation of a new Inter-Agency Fire Safety Working Group meant to ensure the safety and security of energy storage systems across the state, following fire incidents at facilities in Jefferson, Orange, and Suffolk Counties in 2023. State agencies will begin immediate inspections of energy storage sites, and the working group is intended to help prevent fires and ensure emergency responders have the necessary training and information to prepare and deploy resources in the event of a fire.

“Following multiple fire safety incidents across New York, I’ve directed State agencies to immediately form the Inter-Agency Fire Safety Working Group to mobilize the personnel and resources necessary to keep New Yorkers safe,” Governor Hochul said. “The Working Group will collaborate with first responders and local leaders to identify best practices, address potential risks to public safety, and ensure energy storage sites across New York are safe and effective.”

   Three notable fires have already occurred at New York energy facilities in 2023. A fire at an energy storage system in Warwick burned for days in June 2023, a battery fire at a solar farm in Jefferson County raised concerns of possible air contamination in July 2023, and an energy storage system at an East Hampton substation also caught fire in July 2023.

In 2019, New York state committed to adding 3,000 MW of Energy Storage by 2030, among other energy and climate goals, as part of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) staff and the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Emergency Response Unit responded to the Jefferson County incident and supported emergency response partners with performing precautionary air monitoring tests in the surrounding area of the fire.

Sep 15, 2023
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