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Acton residents protest proposed battery facility


Cite environmental, fire dangers

Acton community members are protesting  two proposed battery energy storage systems projects by Avantus and SEC/Hectate as well as any future facilities submitted for development within and bordering the Acton area.

Avantus, a Los Angeles-based clean energy company previously known as 8minute Solar Energy, LLC, seeks to construct the Angeleno Battery Energy Storage System, also known as BESS, on up to 68 acres of private property along Soledad Canyon Road, approximately one mile west of the Southern California Edison Vincent substation. The proposed project would be constructed with up to 1,150 megawatts of battery storage. The project would likely have a four-hour duration with a 4,600 megawatt hours of capacity, according to a summary on the Acton Town Council website.

The proposed project would connect to the Southern California Edison Vincent Substation with a 500-kilovolt transmission line. The project would include batteries, transformers, inverters and a project switchyard in addition to access roads and gates and water tanks.

The proposed Southern California Edison/Hectate battery energy storage system project, known as Humidor, would be constructed on approximately 15 acres adjacent to West Carson Mesa Road to the west of and Angeles Forest Highway N-3 to the east, according to a project description. The project site is located entirely on two privately owned gravel areas and a paintball facility and truck parking and staging.

The proposed Humidor project would include the development of a 400-megawatt BESS system capable of meeting a minimum four-hour duration, according to the description. The proposed project would connect to the Southern California Edison Vincent Substation, 3,400 feet to the south of Vincent View Road and West Carson Mesa Road. The project site is near the Antelope Valley Freeway and Mountain Springs Road.

According to a petition by Acton Takes Action community task force, which represents residents of Acton and Agua Dulce, the proposed BESS projects are at risk for “thermal runaway,” which can result in fires, swelling, leakage of electrolyte, venting, smoking, explosions and potential release of toxic gasses, the petition said.

“Whether the fire starts from this common thermal runaway or from another, even external source, the BESS facilities would pose great risk to residents in our community,” the petition said. “There is also a known risk of Electromagnetic Field (EMF) exposure, since even the small batteries of electric vehicles can expose firefighters during a rescue following a collision or vehicle fire.”