A Tesla Megapack battery reportedly caught fire at a PG&E storage facility in Monterey, California today. Given the potential air pollution that can result from toxic materials being released into the air from the battery in the fire, including hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid, there have been road closures in the area including a section of Highway 1.
Nearby residents of the Elkhorn Battery substation at Moss Landing were also given shelter-in-place orders. As reported by outlets like CNBC, there have been no instances of power outages for PG&E customers or injuries as a result of the fire thus far, which is good to hear.
Still, the fire itself is undoubtedly a concern for both PG&E and local residents given the risk of toxic air pollution caused by the burning Megapack. Currently, the fire has yet to be fully extinguished.
Additionally, the Monterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD) has yet to provide data regarding air quality impacts as a result of the fire, but will be working closely with local authorities to investigate the matter further once the fire is extinguished.
On a more positive note, it sounds like safety systems at the facility prevented the issue from becoming an even bigger hazard according to a statement from PG&E’s Jeff Smith who noted, “Safety systems at the facility worked as designed when the issue was detected, and automatically disconnected the battery storage facility from the electrical grid."
For more on the fire, be sure to read through the full report from CNBC. And for more on Tesla, check out some of our previous coverage including how Tesla’s FSD Beta 10.69.2 drove an owner from LA to San Diego with no interventions needed, and how Tesla shifted its overseas battery factory plans to focus on creating a domestic plant due in part to Inflation Reduction Act tax credits.