A Tesla Megapack has caught on fire at a giant battery project operated by PG&E in Monterey County in California.

In April, PG&E launched the Elkhorn Battery Storage facility in Monterey County, the largest Tesla Megapack project to date. The project consists of 256 Tesla Megapack battery units on 33 concrete slabs for a total capacity of 730 MWh.

Early this morning, a fire was reported at the facility, and PG&E confirmed the fire originated in one of the Tesla Megapack.

Fortunately, the safety systems worked, and the fire didn’t propagate to other battery packs.

PG&E released the following information about the situation:

  • The safety of customers, employees, contractors, and the communities served is PG&E’s top priority.
  • Around 1:30 a.m. this morning, PG&E became aware of a fire in one Tesla Megapack at its Elkhorn Battery Storage facility in Monterey County.
  • PG&E is working with firefighters to stop the spread of the fire and provide a safe area for emergency response personnel.
  • Safety systems at the facility worked as designed when the issue was detected and automatically disconnected the battery storage facility from the electrical grid.
  • There have been no injuries to on-site personnel.
  • There are no electrical outages for customers at this time from the incident.

With large volumes, some battery fires are inevitable, but Tesla has put a lot of effort into making sure they don’t result in too much damage.

In 2016, Electrek obtained the test results that Tesla got from setting fire to a Powerpack, which was the predecessor of the Megapack. The goal was to make sure that the fire didn’t propagate to other battery packs around the device since they are often in large groups in utility-scale energy storage projects.

It’s not the first time that a Tesla Megapack has caught on fire. Last year, a Tesla Megapack caught on fire at another giant battery project in Australia, as pictured above.

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Fred Lambert

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