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california

LG Chem’s lithium-ion batteries at centre of latest fire at 300MW ESS

Mon, 09/13/2021 - 15:10 -- paul Crompton

Preliminary assessment of a fault that caused Vistra’s flagship 300MW/1.2GWh energy storage system (ESS) to overheat and go offline has begun in the US state of California.

Phase I of the Texas, US, firm’s Moss Landing Energy Storage facility was forced out of service following an “overheating incident” that affected a number of battery modules around 8pm on 4 September.

The system is made up of more than 4,500 stacked battery racks or cabinets, each containing 22 individual battery modules manufactured by LG Energy Solutions.

Vistra said that it was taking a conservative approach and keeping the entire facility offline as it investigates the root cause of the incident in partnership with its engineering contractor Fluence, and battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution. 

California news outlet Kion 5/46 quoted North County Fire District fire chief Joel Mendoza as saying the battery racks had been "scorched" and wires "melted."

He was reported as saying: "We didn’t see any fire when we came in. What we saw was a lot of smoke. The battery modules are actually encased in plastic. So in the event of overheating, you’re gonna see a lot of smoke."

Safety systems detected the faulty modules were operating at a temperature above operational standards and triggered sprinkler systems targeted at the affected modules. 

The operational status of the assets of Phase II (100MW), which is located in a separate stand-alone building, remains operational. Phase II was completed last month and brought the facility's total capacity to 400MW/1.6GWh— the largest of its kind in the world.

Battery fire investigation

Teams from Vistra, LG Energy Solution, Fluence, and other external experts are in the early stages of the investigation into the root cause of the issue.

The teams expect that it will take “some time” to fully assess the extent of the damage before developing a plan to safely repair and return the battery system to operation. 

The North County Fire Protection District of Monterey County is assisting with the investigation.

A statement by Vistra on 5 September read: “The Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility experienced an overheating issue with a limited number of battery modules in its Phase I 300-megawatt/1200-megawatt hour system. 

“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. 

“As a result, the overheating was controlled and contained without the need for outside assistance. However, consistent with Vistra’s incident response planning and out of an abundance of caution, the Moss Landing team did ask the local fire department, North County Fire Protection District of Monterey County, to respond to the site. 

“Importantly, there were no injuries to the facilities’ workers as a result of the incident and the situation is contained to the facility with no harm to the community.”

Vistra is uncertain on the timing of the return of the facility, pending an investigation and any needed repairs. 

The company will update the status of Phase I Moss Landing as it learns more. 

LC Chem battery woes

It has been an interesting year for LG Energy Solutions, the subsidiary of the Korean battery giant LG Chem.

Earlier this month, a billion dollar recall of GM’s electric vehicles was made after a torn anode tab and a folded separator were found on cells. LG packs the cells into the modules, then into a battery pack battery at LG Energy Solution Michigan facility in Holland, Michigan, US.

In August, LG Energy Solution extended its scheme to replace lithium-ion batteries used in its home energy storage systems (ESS) to include all geographical markets.

ESSs manufactured between April 2017 and September 2018 are being recalled due to overheating concerns.

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Tesla air quality fine as authority notes 33 violations at Fremont plant

Wed, 05/19/2021 - 09:06 -- paul Crompton
Electric vehicle and energy storage firm Tesla must pay a $1 million fine over air quality violations at its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, US.

Electric vehicle and energy storage firm Tesla must pay a $1 million fine over air quality violations at its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, US.

The fine from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) includes Tesla having to install a solar roof project and implement a comprehensive environmental management system at the plant.

Tesla must also fund a community microgrid, pairing a two-powerpack storage system with up to 160kW solar electric system. 

The settlement covers 33 notices of violation that the Air District issued to Tesla. 

The violations included: emissions exceeding Tesla’s permit limits, installing or modifying equipment without proper permits, failure to conduct required emissions testing, failure to maintain records and failure to report information to the Air District in a timely manner. 

Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District, said: “This settlement requires Tesla’s compliance with Air District regulations at its Fremont facility and demonstrates the Air District’s continuing efforts to ensure strict compliance with air pollution regulations, while seeking mutually beneficial solutions for the community.

“As part of this settlement, Tesla has agreed to implement a community microgrid project, which leverages the company’s technological expertise in developing next generation power here in the Bay Area.” 

The comprehensive environmental management system will track all applicable environmental requirements and ensure that the company’s managers are trained on what is needed to comply with them. 

This environmental management system is designed to ensure that Tesla remains in full compliance going forward. 

Tesla has already begun implementing such a system, but today’s settlement agreement will make this a legally binding and enforceable commitment. 

All the violations that led to this settlement have been corrected and are back in compliance. 

Last November, BEST reported how a report filed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ending 30 September, 2020, showed Tesla’s subsidiary in Germany has been ordered to pay a €12 million ($14 million) fine imposed by the Umweltbundesamt (the German Federal Environment Agency) for alleged non-compliance of ‘take-back obligations with respect to end-of-life battery products’. 

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LS Power nears completion of world’s largest lithium-ion ESS

Fri, 08/21/2020 - 11:54 -- paul Crompton

Investment and development firm LS Power is set to complete the largest battery energy storage project in the world— the 250MW Gateway Energy Storage project in California, US.

The Gateway project, located in the East Otay Mesa community in San Diego County, is due to reach 250MW by the end of the month— it sits at 230MW today.

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Work begins on the world’s biggest utility-owned lithium-ion ESS

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 11:06 -- paul Crompton

Construction has begun on the world’s biggest utility-owned lithium-ion energy storage systems by California, US, -based Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Tesla.

Work on the 182.5MW/730MWh system at PG&E's electric substation in Moss Landing, Monterey County will be designed, constructed, and maintained by PG&E and Tesla, and will be owned and operated by the US utility.

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Turning point for US storage deployment as nations largest ESS connects to California ISO grid

Wed, 07/15/2020 - 11:26 -- paul Crompton

The US’ largest battery storage resource to date was connected to the California Independent System Operator’s (ISO) grid in June— with the 62.5MW lithium-ion system supplying more than a quarter of the area’s battery capacity.

The initial phase of LS Power Group’s Gateway Energy Storage Project in San Diego County signals an era of rapid battery growth for ISO through 2023 as the firm aims toward the state’s procurement targets. 

 
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Report outlines Tesla’s ‘secret’ Roadrunner lithium-ion battery plans for California

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 12:01 -- paul Crompton

Tesla is planning to expand manufacturing capacity at its Freemont, California, facility to develop more ‘effective’ lithium-ion batteries and more efficient manufacturing technology.

Plans given to Freemont government back-up rumours of the US firm’s Roadrunner project that will support manufacturing, R&D operations— including cathode making— and the final step in cell manufacturing.

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Lead-acid battery recycler Quemetco fined $600,000 and forced to reduce operations following for emissions violations

Fri, 05/15/2020 - 10:28 -- paul Crompton

Lead-acid battery recycler Quemetco has been fined $600,000 and forced to temporarily reduce operations due to emissions violations at its facility in the City of Industry, California, US.

The fine follows inspections and testing conducted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) between 2017 and 2019.

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SCE to deploy 770MW of ESS to bring security of supply to California

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 15:49 -- paul Crompton

Power provider Southern California Edison has signed seven contracts totalling 770MW of battery-based energy storage capacity to deliver security of supply to California, US.

The projects will help integrate renewable power into the grid from intermittent wind and solar resources.

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NeoVolta surfs California wave of energy storage investment

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 15:36 -- John Shepherd
NeoVolta surfs California wave of energy storage investment

Californian residential battery storage start-up NeoVolta said it is set for a “300% increase in manufacturing capacity” as the state embraces investment in renewable energy systems.

NeoVolta, launched last year, said its move to a new 21,150 sq ft production facility in San Diego this summer will allow it to increase production of its lithium iron phosphate home battery units to more than 10,000 annually.

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Daimler invests in Sila Nano for next-gen battery tech

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:32 -- John Shepherd
Photo: Sila Nanotechnologies

Daimler is investing in the California-based producer of engineered materials, Sila Nanotechnologies, to boost development of “next generation lithium-ion battery materials”.

Daimler said it was making a “significant investment” in Sila Nano to forge a partnership that would speed up the development and commercialisation of lithium battery tech— to benefit future electric cars produced by its Mercedes-Benz subsidiary.

In addition to acquiring a minority equity stake in Sila Nano, Daimler also joins the board of the battery material specialist.

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