Md. Residents Oppose Planned Lithium Battery Storage System Near Their Homes

"A Pepco pilot project to build the 1-megawatt unit poses fire and explosion risks, the residents say. Pepco says the planned facility, intended to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, meets all safety codes."

"Patrice Payne has her evacuation plan ready in case of a fire at a planned lithium battery storage unit less than a mile from her house in the Oxon Hill area of Maryland’s Prince George’s County.

She would grab a ladder from her shed, climb over her backyard fence and make a run for the highway through the shrubs. On her way out of the house, she would scoop up two carefully packed bags of medical supplies for her 30-year-old diabetic son. At least that’s the plan.  

“I don’t think I’m in shape for jumping over a fence,” said Payne, a Black woman in her early 50s. “But I’d take a few bruises and get away rather than inhaling toxic fumes from the burning lithium battery.”

For almost two years, Payne and other Prince George’s residents have been pushing back against the utility company Pepco’s planned installation of a 1-megawatt energy storage system with a lithium battery component, pointing out that the county and Pepco officials have not addressed their safety concerns in case of an accidental fire or a similar emergency situation."

Aman Azhar reports for Inside Climate News April 14, 2023.

Source: Inside Climate News, 04/14/2023