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Fire at PG&Es Tesla battery in California is currently in order

A Tesla Megapack battery caught fire at PG&Es Elkhorn large-scale battery storage facility in Monterey County, California, in the first hours of September 21. The fire was brought fully in order by the late afternoon, and its own cause is under investigation.

Image: Fire Rescue Victoria

Fire broke out in a battery energy storage facility housing a 182.5 MW Tesla Megapack system, where a minumum of one of the battery units caught burning. The facility is operated by utility PG&E and is situated in Monterey County, California, in the usa.

There were no injuries to onsite personnel, and you can find no electrical outages for customers at the moment because of the incident, Jeff Smith, operations and communications manager at PG&E, told pv magazine.

The fire started at 1: 30 am Pacific Time (PT) on the morning of September 21, and was fully controlled by firefighters at the North Country Fire Department by 7: 00 pm PT. It caused Californias Highway 1 to turn off. The County Sherriff’s Office lifted its twelve-hour long shelter-in-place advisory at 7 pm PT and reopened the roads. Residents have been asked to shut all windows and switch off ventilation systems because of the hazardous material emitted by lithium-ion battery fires. The County Office advised via Twitter that smoke may still occur in your community for a number of days regardless of the fire being fully controlled.

In accordance with local media reports, firefighters allow initial megapack burn up and worked to avoid flames from spreading to adjoining batteries and structures in the large-scale system, according to protocols recommended by PG&E and Tesla to the fire department. The reason for the fire continues to be unknown, and a joint investigation will undoubtedly be completed by PG&E and Tesla.

Safety systems at the facility worked as designed and automatically disconnected the battery from the electrical grid, Smith said. Property harm to the battery is likely to exceed $50,000, in accordance with preliminary information shared by PG&E.

The Californian facility is among the biggest utility-owned, lithium-ion battery energy storage systems on the planet. A Tesla Megapack also caught fire this past year in the Victorian Big Battery in Moorabool, Australia.

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