Here is a rework idea:
Make them a module used by attackers, so locals have an interest in destroying it.
Give it a 10min reinforcement timer and a notification to the owner when it gets attacked.
Here is why:
Nullsec ratters currently have little reason to use the ESS units - a bit more money for a risk of loosing more resulted in most players not using them.
Those that do place them in fully triggered sites, on jove observatorys or drifter wormholes, sometimes with a alt sitting on it with a empty pod - they don’t create fights.
It’s just another feature with huge potential that was never iterated on and forgotten, the recent discussions on the proving grounds call for more ways to get opponents on the same grid in the sandbox. - this would create a much smaller objective then rorqual, citadel or jump gate bashing.