HAMPDEN — The Hampden Planning Board briefly discussed creating a bylaw about battery energy storage systems at its June 12 meeting.

During the meeting, the Planning Board spoke with Board of Selectmen Chair Donald Davenport and former Planning Board Chair John Matthews about how to approach the topic.

Davenport stated that the town has received two inquiries about creating battery energy storage systems, although none of the interested parties had formally applied yet.

He proposed that the town create a bylaw in order to regulate these systems, referencing other bylaws created by nearby towns such as Wilbraham. Davenport explained that similar bylaws usually consist of three tiers divided by the strength and size of the battery system.

In order to give the town time to create a bylaw, Davenport recommended a moratorium on these types of systems. Matthews highlighted concerns about the damage that could be caused if a high voltage system were to fail, emphasizing that lithium-ion battery fires can cause “significant damage” and should be left to burn out or would require special materials to extinguish.

“They’re not your normal AA [or] AAA battery,” he said. “My concern is of safety, fire [and] contamination of water.”

Following the discussion, the Planning Board set Aug. 14 as the date to future discuss the moratorium in a public hearing. With the moratorium, residents would not be able to apply for a battery energy storage system until its completion.

Hampden previously voted to take no action on a moratorium for battery energy storage systems during its May 13 Annual Town Meeting.

Planning Board vacancy

Planning Board Chair Madison Pixley also announced at the June 12 meeting that member Heather Beattie had submitted her resignation from the board on June 11.

She stated that the board would be seeking a new member. Beattie also served as the Community Preservation representative, Pixley said.

As of press time, a formal notice of the vacancy had not been released.