An Arlington, Virginia company has submitted an application to the Town of Smithtown Planning Department for the construction of an 119,000 square foot warehouse on Old Northport Road.
The company, AES Energy, plans to use the warehouse for batteries designed to store energy. The proposal includes demolishing an existing building which houses an asphalt and construction demolition process facility that totals 7,803 square feet and holds construction materials, and houses an outside storage area for vehicles and heavy equipment.
The land, located at 133 Old Northport Road, is owned by D'Agostino Brothers and is zoned heavy industrial, but according to Frank DeRubeis, director of planning for the town, the warehouse could be housed in nearly any area zoned commercial and called the proposal, “more than feasible.”
Businesses listed at the address include Fasco Asphalt Paving and All Shores Truck and Equipment Repair.
“The building is really nothing more than a warehouse,” said DeRubeis. “It’s zoned heavy industry and doesn’t require any special permits from the town. It is a real straight forward application,” he said.
According to DeRubeis, it is a mostly dry operation, with no water usage except for the rest rooms.
“It’s relatively innocuous,” said DeRubeis. “They store power and then they release it. I think it is one of the first uses on old Northport Road which is not going to cause us a problem."
According to John Zahurancik, Vice President of AES Energy Storage, the site essentially stores energy that can be used at peak times of the day when surges in energy use are seen. The energy stored would be received from the Long Island Power Authority grid and the stored energy would be released to it.
"What you find in power sector is that you need a lot more power generating capacity certain times of the year than you need most of the other time," said Zahurancik. "If you can store electricity when the it is not busy to when a time it is needed then you can bring it to the times when busy."
According to the proposal, there would be no truck traffic and no emissions or odors would be released into the air.
Mark Gross, Director of Communications for LIPA, would not comment on the proposal.
“LIPA has not and will not be commenting on any of the specific projects. We anticipate we will start discussing and making recommendations to our Board of Trustees sometime this fall.”