A Tesla Megapack battery is on fire at a PG&E facility in California


Tesla logo in red on black background
Artwork by Alex Castro/MovieBeat

A Tesla Megapack battery caught fire this morning at local utility company PG&E’s Elkhorn battery storage facility in Monterey County, Calif., as reported by local news stations KSBW Action News 8 and KRON4.

The fire started around 1:30 a.m. this morning, according to PG&E operations communications manager Jeff Smith. Smith tells The edge that PG&E is working with the fire and emergency services to provide enough space to safely stop the spread of the fire. At 1:55 p.m. ET, it looks like the fire is still burning.

Caltrans confirmed the fire closed a section of Highway 1 as fire crews deployed units to manage the blaze and followed with another tweet noting that as of 1:20 p.m. ET, a permanent closure remains in effect. No injuries were reported at the scene.

According to Smith, the Tesla batteries were automatically disconnected from the grid thanks to the security systems in place that could detect problems.

The Vistra Zero facility, long construction in the center, at Moss Landing Power Plant with a similar Tesla facility behind it in Moss Landing, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Vistra Zero is Moss Landing's largest energy storage system its kind in the world,
Photo by Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images
The Vistra Zero facility, long building in the center, at Moss Landing Power Plant with a similar Tesla facility behind it.

The Elkhorn Battery Facility, located in Moss Landing, is home to a 182.5 megawatt Tesla Megapack system originally announced in 2019. The facility is owned and operated by PG&E, but it was designed, built and is also maintained by Tesla and the utility company. . Smith said PG&E does not expect the fires to cause customer outages.

The California power grid is connected to several battery storage facilities, including the Vista Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility, a 400 megawatt facility spread over two adjacent buildings in Elkhorn. Higher power operation houses batteries built by LG Energy Solutions, and according to Mercury Newsit was shut down earlier this year due to at least two separate battery overheating issues.

In July, Vistra restarted the facilities while operating at 98% of maximum capacity “after implementing identified corrective actions, including with respect to the water-based heat removal system connectors.” He is currently building a 350MW Phase III expansion and has mentioned plans for a Phase Four configuration that would take the site’s capacity to 1,500MW.

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