Tesla Megapack Fire Shuts Down California’s Famous Highway 1

A fire at a Tesla and Pacific Gas & Electric, Co. energy storage facility in California’s Monterey Bay area prompted the California Highway Patrol and Fire Department to close a section of Highway 1 Tuesday and issue an emergency shelter.

A fire was first reported at Elkhorn Battery, a battery energy storage system, around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. Firefighters found a burning battery, Chief Joel Mendoza of the North Monterey County Fire Protection District told Monterey County Weekly.

PG&E told KRON-TV that around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, “it became aware of a fire in a Tesla Megapack at its Elkhorn battery facility in Monterey County.”

“PG&E is working with firefighters to contain the spread of the fire and provide a safe area for emergency personnel. Safety systems at the facility worked as designed when the problem was detected, automatically disconnecting the battery pack from the grid,” Jeff Smith, communications manager at PG&E, told the news outlet.

The flaming Tesla Megapack is part of the company’s energy storage system that “reliably and safely stores energy for the grid, eliminates the need for gas peak plants and helps prevent outages,” Tesla explained on its website.

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Tesla also reported that Megapack is said to be secure.

“Megapack is one of the safest battery storage products of its kind. The units undergo extensive fire testing and include built-in security systems, specialized monitoring software and 24/7 support,” the website states.

However, Mendoza said it can be dangerous if a battery catches fire, he told the Monterey County Weekly.

“The special thing about these batteries is that they sometimes burn for days. In this particular case, it burned pretty quickly, about six hours,” Mendoza told the newspaper.

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This energy storage facility where the fire occurred was built and operated in a collaboration between Tesla and PG&E and has been operational since April, Power Engineering reported.

Mendoza said the battery burned fairly cleanly, but to be on the safe side, authorities still decided to close a section of Highway 1 and urged local residents to take shelter at the spot, Monterey County Weekly reported .

“When we started seeing changes in weather, wind speed and direction, we decided to close Highway 1 and Dolan Road — we’re not letting anyone in. A protective order will be issued saying you stay indoors. Hold you[r] windows and turn off the air conditioners,” Mendoza said.

“It is from an abundance of caution. If some of these combustion products get far enough where someone would inhale – we don’t expect that, but as a public authority responsible for public safety, we do [are acting in] an abundance of caution,” continued the chief.

The California Highway Patrol also tweeted information about the highway being closed, estimating it would be several hours before the road reopened.

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Around 10:30 a.m., CHP tweeted that it estimated it had four to six hours before the section of Highway 1 opened.

“Updated Road Closure Information: Highway 1 closures at Salinas Rd & Molera Rd due to fire at Moss Landing. Expect delays. ETA to reopen in 4-6 hours,” read CHP’s tweet.

The freeway was closed before 7:30 a.m., Monterey County Weekly reported.

No injuries were reported at Elkhorn Battery. There were also no reports of power outages or customer problems, KRON reported.

https://www.westernjournal.com/tesla-megapack-fire-shuts-californias-famous-highway-1-shelter-place-order-issued/ Tesla Megapack Fire Shuts Down California’s Famous Highway 1

Linh

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