PG&E says Tesla battery was the cause of the fire at the energy storage site

In the early hours of Monday, a Tesla Megapack battery caught fire at a key energy storage facility in California, the state’s largest utility said in a statement to TechCrunch.

According to PG&E, the utility “became aware of a fire in a Tesla Megapack at its Elkhorn Battery Storage Facility” around 1:30 a.m. in Moss Landing, located about 25 miles south of Santa Cruz, TN. Monterey County. The site houses a facility that houses 256 megapacks and is capable of storing up to 730 megawatt hours of energy… when not on fire. Such facilities underpin the crucial transition to renewable energy by storing clean energy for use when the sun is not shining.

At the time of this article’s publication, the facility was disconnected from the grid as firefighters worked to “stop the spread of the fire and provide a safe area for emergency response personnel.” Fire close a section of Highway 1 and triggered a shelter-in-place notice from the county sheriff’s office. The office warned nearby residents of an “ongoing hazmat incident” around 9:00 a.m., saying, “Please close your windows and turn off your ventilation systems.”

PG&E said in the statement that its safety systems “were working as intended when the issue was detected” and that there were no injuries at the scene. The utility added that the incident has not resulted in “power outages for customers at this time”.

Asked about the extent of the blaze, a utility spokesperson declined to share additional information.

Although not related to Tesla, lithium batteries at Moss Landing storage sites have caught fire several times in recent years. And last year, a Tesla Megapack caught fire in Geelong, Australia, during initial testing at the Victorian Big Battery storage site.

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