Convergent provides root cause of battery system fire at Oct. 5 Board meeting


Convergent provides root cause of battery system fire at Oct. 5 Board meeting

October 10, 2023

On October 5, the Warwick Valley Board of Education convened a work session. During this session, Convergent Energy’s Chief Operating and Financial Officer Frank Genova detailed the root cause of a fire that transpired in late-June, attributed to a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) malfunction on the property behind the bus garage, and the related issues at the other local site on Church Street. 

Genova pinpointed water seepage into battery containers as the primary cause, resulting in an electrical short. He also underscored the need for such “peaker plants” in our locality, which bolster electricity supply for over 7,500 Warwick residents.

The Board posed several questions throughout the session, which was also reported by News 12

Potential solutions are on the horizon and slated for resolution in late 2024. As a result, the sites remain inactive. The company has assured the district that it will cover any district-incurred costs. 

With Vertex Engineering and Eisenbach & Ruhnke Engineering present at the meeting to represent the District, the session focused on the causal factors. Vertex’s Keith Pitman emphasized the fire’s electrical origin, facilitating future preventative measures. 

Genova will provide further updates to the Board, likely in late spring. 

Safety remains the district’s paramount concern, with forthcoming updates provided to all stakeholders on the District’s website. You may review our previous posts and related documents here:


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