Tesla Megapack catches fire at NorCal PG&E substation

A 2-MW/2 megawatt-hour battery energy storage system made by Tesla is seen at Camp Mackall near Big Muddy Lake while the U.S. Army hosts a ribbon-cutting event to unveil a floating solar energy system on June 10, 2022 at Camp Mackall in Aberdeen, North Carolina.
A 2-MW/2 megawatt-hour battery energy storage system made by Tesla is seen at Camp Mackall near Big Muddy Lake while the U.S. Army hosts a ribbon-cutting event to unveil a floating solar energy system on June 10, 2022 at Camp Mackall in Aberdeen, North Carolina. Photo credit Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – A fire at a PG&E battery storage facility in Monterey County forced the closure of Highway 1 Tuesday morning.

At around 1:30 a.m., PG&E discovered that a Tesla Megapack had caught flame at the Elkhorn Battery Storage Facility in Moss Landing.

The battery was automatically disconnected from the electrical grid, but 10 hours later, firefighters are still attempting to extinguish the blaze.

"What we have right now is white smoke pouring out of the packs still," North County Fire Chief Joel Mendoza told KCBS Radio. "These packs are four foot wide by five feet tall and about eight feet long. They have vents on the top and I'm getting white smoke out of the vents, I'm not getting any flames, but that has changed."

This is the first time a Tesla Megapack has caught fire at this facility, so Mendoza said it's difficult to predict how long the fire will last. It may even be up to 36 hours. "This is going to be a while," he explained. "We've done the training and the prep with the facility and here’s today, today came."

Around two miles of Highway 1 in front of the plant have been closed. Evacuations have not been called, but residents west of Dolan Road via Tanques, south of Struve Road and north of Potrero Road have been asked to shelter-in-place.

"There is an ongoing hazardous materials incident in Moss Landing," North County Fire Department and Monterey County Sheriff's Office reported. "Please shut your windows and turn off your ventilation systems. In the event of changing weather patterns, impacted areas may change."

PG&E said that no one was injured and there was no loss of power to any customers fueled by the plant. The 180 megawatt plant just had its grand opening in June.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images