top of page
AdobeStock_Energy Storage.jpeg

FAQs: American Power Ventures’ (APV) Proposed Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) Project In Virginia Beach, VA

Project Purpose and Details


What is the purpose of APV’s proposed project in the Seatack Community?
APV plans to build a state-of-the-art BESS facility to (i) enhance the reliability of the electrical grid by “firming up” power from intermittent power generation technologies, and (ii) facilitate the development of renewable sources of electricity to the Virginia bulk power transmission system to serve the needs of electric utilities and their customers.

What is a BESS?

BESS, or Battery Energy Storage System, is a system that stores energy for use at a later time using a battery technology. Hawaiian Electric’s proposed BESS projects will employ state-of-the-art, grid-tied energy storage battery units. Each battery unit consists of lithium-ion batteries, a circuit breaker panel, inverter, and an internal temperature-control system packaged together as a single unit. Groups of battery units work together to operate as a single large battery system.  BESS can provide multiple grid benefits including load-shifting and contingency support. 


Load-shifting – stores energy during periods of low customer demand, for use during early morning hours and at night when electricity demand is at its highest. This type of BESS enables the electric grid to accommodate more renewable sources, such as solar and wind, while it displaces thermal generation and helps lower emissions. 


Contingency – allows stored energy to be sent to the grid as a quick response to an unexpected event such as a sudden drop in energy production from wind, solar, or a thermal power plant. This quick response capability improves grid reliability and reduces the likelihood of customer outages. 


Why is it necessary to build these BESS? 

Energy storage is an important component of a clean, sustainable energy future. By storing energy when customer demand is low and then delivering it during peak demand hours, the electric grid is able to accommodate more renewable energy sources (such as solar and wind) and reduce fossil-fueled generation. At the same time, these storage systems help even out the fluctuations of wind or solar energy sources, thus increasing system reliability. 

Where will the proposed BESS facility be located?

The proposed BESS facility will be situated at the Sykes Property off S. Birdneck Road in the Seatack Community.

What measures are in place to mitigate this risk of the proposed project?
APV has implemented several measures to mitigate this risk, including:

  • The use of state-of-the-art battery technology.

  • Rigorous compliance with the manufacturers testing and operating guidelines prior to operation and while in service, respectively.

  • Utilization of state-of-the-art fire suppression systems in each containerized battery module to suppress electrical fires, and pressure release panels to eliminate explosion risk.

  • A thermal detection system to alert operators of an increase in battery temperatures along with remote monitoring capabilities to provide an early warning system.

  • Prismatic hard case battery cells to prevent electrolyte leak during a rare fire incident.

What is the timeline for the proposed project?
Construction of the proposed project is scheduled to commence in 2025, with commercial operation expected to begin in 2026.

What measures will APV take to minimize disruptions to the local community during construction?
APV recognizes the importance of minimizing disruption to the local community during the construction phase. Measures will be implemented to mitigate noise, traffic, and other potential inconveniences associated with the project, ensuring minimal impact on the community. APV will develop an avoidance plan for Saints Rest and the Ackiss Cemeteries to be implemented prior to the commencement of construction activities. This will include archaeological monitoring and fencing around the construction site. Most construction activities of the containerized battery modules will take place off site and in parallel with site work. This not only allows for faster assembly and construction of the project, but also reduces site activities, and thus, possible disruptions to the community.

Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns about the proposed project?
For any questions or concerns about the proposed project, please use the form below and a representative from APV will respond as soon as possible.

How can I stay informed about the progress of the proposed project?

To stay informed about the progress of the proposed project, we encourage you to visit the project landing page regularly Updates and relevant information regarding the project’s development will be shared on the website to keep the community informed and engaged.

Safety and Risk


What are the specific safety risks associated with a BESS?

The specific safety risk associated with a BESS is the potential overheating of the containerized batteries, which, in rare cases, has led to a fire within the facility. According to the US Department of Energy, less than one half of one percent (0.4%) of all BESS facilities currently in operation have experienced such an incident (U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) Global Energy Storage Database. January 29, 2023: The facilities that have experienced these events were not state-of-the-art projects utilizing today’s technology. They were designed with older, inferior control systems technology, older batteries that generated more heat than newer-generation batteries and had ‘crowded’ layout designs with battery units much closer to each other than APV’s modern design.

What will APV do to ensure the ongoing safety of the battery energy storage facility?

APV is committed to ensuring the ongoing safety of the battery energy storage facility by (i) adhering to the manufacturers recommended operating parameters and safety guidelines, (ii) conducting continuous monitoring and regular maintenance of the facility at recommended intervals, (iii) ensuring compliance with all manufacturers and industry recommended safety standards to promptly address any potential issues, and (iv) training local first responders to ensure their familiarity with the project and addressing any potential safety issue in a timely manner.

Explain the fire safety system.

Safety is a top priority for APV. The fire safety system designed for our BESS installations includes multiple layers of protection:

  • Fire Detection: Advanced fire detection sensors are installed throughout the BESS facility. These sensors are designed to quickly identify and alert on any temperature anomalies or signs of fire.

  • Fire Suppression: We use state-of-the-art fire suppression systems that are specifically tailored for BESS facilities. These systems are designed to quickly contain and extinguish any potential fire within the battery storage units.

  • Physical Design: The BESS units are built with fire-resistant materials and are compartmentalized to prevent any potential fire from spreading.

  • Regular Inspections: APV conducts routine inspections and maintenance checks to ensure the fire safety equipment is in optimal working condition.

If water is used to extinguish the fire, will the “wastewater” contain any carcinogens?   How is the “wastewater” contained?  What will seep into the groundwater?

This risk can be viewed in the same manner as an electrical fire which fire departments are generally  very familiar with and trained to address.  The materials within these systems aren't especially unique but are present in other events that fire departments are trained to handle (automobile fires, substation control house, server rooms, etc.). 

What are the long-term health effects of having a BESS in a neighborhood?

Current scientific research indicates that when properly managed and maintained, BESS installations do not pose any long-term health risks to nearby residents. The systems are designed to be sealed and non-emissive, meaning they do not release harmful substances into the environment.

Is it safe to have a BESS in a residential community?

Yes, having a BESS in a residential community is safe. BESS installations are designed with many safety features and undergo rigorous testing and certification processes. Their operation is quiet and non-polluting, and they do not emit harmful radiation or substances. They can coexist safely and seamlessly within a residential community when managed and maintained properly.

Impact on Community and Property


How does having a BESS in your neighborhood affect property value for homeowners?

The impact of BESS on property values can vary based on several factors, including location, community perception, and more. However, in many cases, introducing clean energy infrastructure can be seen as a positive aspect, signifying a forward-thinking and sustainable community. It is always recommended for homeowners to consult local real estate experts for specific insights.


How does having a BESS in your neighborhood affect homeowner insurance?

Generally, a BESS in a neighborhood does not directly impact individual homeowner insurance rates. A multitude of factors determines insurance premiums, and the presence of a nearby BESS might not be a significant factor. We always advise homeowners to speak directly with their insurance providers for specific information related to their policies.

Regulation and Industry


If APV only uses the batteries to store energy, who makes or manufactures the batteries?

APV partners with leading global battery manufacturers known for their high quality and safety standards. The specific manufacturer can vary based on the project and contract details, but we ensure that all our partners comply with the highest industry standards and regulations regarding safety, reliability, and performance.

How is the BESS industry regulated/controlled?

The Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) industry is regulated through a combination of local, state, federal, and international standards, and regulations, as well as industry-specific guidelines. These regulations aim to ensure the safety, reliability, and environmental performance of BESS facilities.

© 2023 American Power Ventures LLC.  All Rights Reserved.


Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page