Tesla Megapack battery caught fire at PG&E substation in California

A Tesla Megapack in Moss Landing, California

Andrew Ever | CNBC

At least one You’re here Megapack caught fire early Tuesday morning at the PG&E utility-operated energy storage facility in Monterey, California.

At the end of the morning on Tuesday, there was no power cut for P&E customers, or any injuries to on-site personnel due to the fire, according to PG&E spokesman Jeff Smith. The California utility became aware of the fire at 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2022, Smith said in an email.

The fire was not yet fully extinguished prior to publication.

PG&E commissioned the 182.5 megawatt (MW) Tesla Megapack system, known as the Elkhorn Battery at Moss Landing, in April this year.

Gigantic batteries like the Megapack, as well as those made by ABB and Northvolt, allow grid operators to move extra capacity between counties or states, and ensure that power from intermittent sources can be stored and used when the demand is higher or in the event of unforeseen circumstances. failures in a transport network.

Fires at energy storage systems at Moss Landing recall incidents involving Tesla Megapacks in Australia. They also point to the challenges of adopting new technologies to improve the efficiency of the electricity grid and to make greater use of electricity from intermittent renewable resources such as wind and solar.

There are two separate energy storage projects at Moss Landing in Monterey. One is operated by PG&E and the other by a Texas-based company Vista. On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Vistra told CNBC that their facility was unaffected by this event. However, the Vistra side of Moss Landing experienced two overheating incidents in the old days.

California Highway Patrol closed a section of Highway 1 and diverted traffic away from the facility for hours after the fire.

Following the fire, some residents near the Elkhorn Battery substation in Moss Landing were told to shelter in place because of emissions.

According to Richard Stedman, air pollution control officer for the Monterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD), lithium-ion battery fires can emit toxic constituents, including hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid. MBARD had no immediate data on the air quality impacts of the Elkhorn Battery fire, he said, but will work with local authorities to investigate the issue once the fire is fully burnt. off.

PG&E’s Jeff Smith noted, “The facility’s safety systems were operating as intended when the issue was detected and automatically disconnected the battery storage facility from the utility grid.

Fixed: Previously, Vistra’s energy storage systems at the Moss Landing site would overheat.

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.

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