A Tesla Megapack Caught Fire, Causing Californians to ‘Shelter in Place’

A Tesla Megapack Caught Fire, Causing Californians to ‘Shelter in Place’

A Tesla Megapack has caught fire in California, spawning a ‘shelter-in-place’ warning in the state.

As originally reported by KSBW8 and KRON4, and later reported by The Verge, the battery fire has led to a warning from the sheriff’s office to shut down ventilation systems and close all windows due to air quality concerns. The fire also led to the closure of a major highway in the area.

Lithium-ion battery fires are incredibly toxic and, if this were to happen near you, you should absolutely avoid the expelled fumes at all costs. Additionally, it’s an electrical fire, which is much harder to extinguish.

The site of the Tesla Megapack fire is the Elkhorn battery facility in California, a plant used for storing energy to support the Californian electricity grid. It was designed, built and is maintained by Tesla and the PG&E utility company.

Interestingly, on the same grid, the highest power operation was shut down earlier this year due to two separate battery overheating issues.

Built-in safety systems at the Elkhorn battery facility were said to work as designed and automatically disconnected the affected batteries from the grid when the error was detected.

This is also not the first time a Tesla battery has caught fire. As pointed out by Tech Crunch, last year when testing the Victorian Big Battery in Geelong, a Tesla Megapack caught fire.

According to the Monterey County website, which has been offering running updates of the incident since 2:54am AEST, the situation is ongoing. The last update was provided at 6:57am AEST, however, we’ll update this article when we have confirmation that the fire has been extinguished.

An ETA has not been specified for when the plant will be reopened, nor has there been any indication of when the situation will be resolved.

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