September 29, 2022: An investigation is continuing into the cause of a Tesla Megapack battery fire at PG&E’s Moss Landing battery storage facility in California, the utility told BESB on September 28.
Tesla and PG&E is jointly conducting the probe into the Elkhorn lithium ion battery plant fire, of which the utility said it became aware at the BESS at 1.30 am local time on September 20.
A spokesperson said safety systems worked as designed when the fire was detected and automatically disconnected the battery storage facility from the electrical grid.
A preliminary report filed with the California Public Utilities Commission said there were no injuries to onsite personnel and property damage to the battery was “expected to exceed $50,000”.
Elkhorn has multiple safety systems and protocols in place for fire prevention and mitigation including an incident command centre at a “safe distance from the batteries”, the spokesperson said.
Tesla and PG&E broke ground for the 182.5MW/730MWh BESS plant on July 29, 2020. At that time, the partners said the Moss Landing facility would be the largest utility-owned storage system of its kind in the world.
The development agreement allowed Tesla to increase the size even further, to a total of 1GWh in total.
Elkhorn BESS site. Photo: PG&E