Moss Landing Battery Bank 0910

A worker examines battery racks at Vistra Corp.'s Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility.

Vistra confirmed that a portion of its Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility in Monterey Bay was still off line Sept. 10 after an overheating incident took it out of operation on Sept. 4.

On Sept. 4, some lithium-ion battery modules at the Phase 1 300-MW/1,200-MWh system overheated, putting the storage facility out of operation. Vistra is keeping the facility off line as it investigates the incident and conducts repairs, it said in a news release. The Phase 2 100-MW energy system, located in a separate building at the site, continues to operate, Vistra said.

"There are multiple layers of safety integrated into the battery facility and the risk mitigation and safety systems worked as designed, detecting these modules were operating at a temperature above operational standards and triggering targeted sprinkler systems aimed at the affected modules," Vistra said in the release.

The overheating was controlled without need for outside assistance, but Vistra employees contacted the local fire department to respond to the site. There were no injuries or harm to the community, the company said.

Teams from Vistra, battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution, and engineering and construction firm Fluence are taking part in the investigation, Vistra said.

The Vistra facility is the largest of its kind in the world and went into operation in July (see CEM No. 1656).

Pacific Gas & Electric has a 10-year resource-adequacy agreement for Phase 2 power and a 20-year contract for energy from the 300-MW/1,200-MWh Phase 1 of the project.

LG Energy Solution is a unit of LG Chem, which has seen other problems with its lithium-ion batteries. LG Chem batteries were installed at Arizona Public Service's McMicken Substation in Surprise, Arizona, where a thermal runaway event led to an explosion in April 2019 that injured eight firefighters and a police officer (see CEM No. 1601).

LG Chem also recalled about 10,000 home-battery systems in Michigan in August after five reports of batteries smoking and catching fire, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. General Motors has also recalled tens of thousands of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles due to risk of fires from LG Chem batteries, which GM says have occurred in rare cases.

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