Giant metal boxes have been erected in Orange County that promises to save residents money while helping the environment.

If you're in Warwick, New York and drive by middle and high school, you may get a glimpse of the future. A line of unassuming metal boxes that look like shipping containers sit in unused land behind the football field. These boxes were put there by Orange & Rockland Utilities and they hold impressive new technology.

This week there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony for O & R's new battery storage system that officials say will deliver sustainable electricity to 7,500 utility customers. The MW / 57 MWh battery storage system was built in cooperation with Convergent Energy and Power, which specializes in energy storage.

Orange & Rockland Utilities / Google
Orange & Rockland Utilities / Google

According to O & R, the new system can gather energy during low-usage periods, store it and then distribute it to the grid during peak times. The system is powered by AI which will determine when the batteries are charging or discharging power to the community. This innovative new system will serve customers in Warwick, Florida, Greenwood Lake and Pine Island.

Known as "the Warwick Battery Project", this newly-opened battery station is the first project of its kind in Orange County. The new infrastructure is the result of New York's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act which was passed in 2018. The state is installing 3,000 MW of energy storage by 2030 to reach its goal of 70% renewable energy. The act also aims for 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040.

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