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Fluence

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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Fluence hires new CEO as it looks to accelerate energy storage adoption

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 16:04 -- paul Crompton

Lithium-ion energy storage system firm Fluence, a joint venture of Siemens and AES, has chosen Manuel Perez Dubuc to be the company’s new chief executive officer.

Dubuc will succeed Stephen Coughlin on 1 May in a change the company said was a “strategic move intended to further accelerate energy storage adoption around the world”. 

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Lithium-ion an ‘unacceptable risk’ claims Arizona regulator

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 11:34 -- paul Crompton
Lithium-ion an ‘unacceptable risk’ claims Arizona regulator

Alternative battery chemistries to lithium-ion should be used in utility-scale battery storage projects because the technology poses an ‘unacceptable risk’ in the case of a fire, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has claimed.

The damning judgment on the use of large-scale, lithium-ion storage systems comes three months after the fire at Arizona Public Service's (APS) 2MW/2MWh McMicken energy storage facility in Surprise, Arizona.

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Work on ‘world’s biggest Li-ion ESS’ begins in Southern California

Fri, 07/12/2019 - 10:07 -- John Shepherd
Work on ‘world’s biggest Li-ion ESS’ begins in Southern California

Work has begun on what it said to be the biggest lithium-ion energy storage system, with the ground-breaking of a 100MW/400MWh project for the Alamitos Energy Center in Southern California.

The system by AES Alamitos, a subsidiary of AES Corporation, will use Advancion 5 batteries and control systems from Fluence— the joint venture between Siemens and AES.

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Regulators in BESS safety review warning after US explosion

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 09:38 -- John Shepherd
Regulators in BESS safety review warning after US explosion

Regulators in the US have warned a major shake-up of safety standards may be needed for home battery storage systems in the wake of an explosion at a lithium-ion grid-scale battery storage facility in Arizona.

The Arizona Public Service (APS) utility told BEST Battery Briefing an investigation into what caused the “catastrophic failure” of the 2MW/2MWh system at its McMicken facility last month in the city of Surprise was still under way.

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Battery makers sign up for BESS safety taskforce

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 19:01 -- John Shepherd
Battery makers sign up for BESS safety taskforce

Manufacturers and users of battery storage systems have backed an industry-led initiative in the US to “prioritise safety” in the production and operation of equipment.

The move came amidst on going concerns about the risk of fires from lithium batteries and cells— and just days before an explosion at a grid-scale battery storage facility in the US.

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Probe launched into Arizona BESS explosion

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 17:44 -- John Shepherd
Probe launched into Arizona BESS explosion

An investigation is under way after an explosion at a lithium-ion grid-scale battery storage facility in the US operated by the Arizona Public Service (APS) utility.

APS told BEST Battery Briefing today several firefighters and a police officer needed hospital treatment as a result of the “catastrophic failure” of the 2MW/2MWh system at its McMicken facility in the city of Surprise, Arizona.

Firefighters were called to the site after smoke was discovered at the site on 19 April, an APS spokesperson told BBB. The explosion occurred about three hours after first responders arrived.

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India bridges gap with batteries

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

India’s first grid-scale battery-based energy storage system has been inaugurated in Rohini, Delhi, as the country looks to integrate the 225GW of renewable energy generation it intends to install by 2022.

The 10MW/10MWh lithium-ion system is jointly owned by AES Energy Storage and Mitsubishi, and located at a Rohini substation operate by Tata Power.

The system will provide “grid stabilisation, better peak load management, add system flexibility, enhance reliability, and protect critical facilities for 2 million consumers.”

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Victoria readies for launch of first utility-scale BESS

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
D'ambrosio at Victoria launch

The first utility-scale battery energy storage system in the Australian state of Victoria has entered the final phase of testing in preparation to start relieving pressure on the regional grid ahead of summer.

The 30-megawatt-hour lithium-ion BESS, funded by the Victorian government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena), was inaugurated in Ballarat by state energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio (pictured centre).

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US urged to end ‘uncertainty’ over battery storage tax breaks

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 12:43 -- John Shepherd
US urged to end ‘uncertainty’ over battery storage tax breaks

Treasury chiefs in the US have been urged to “end the uncertainty” over proposed tax breaks for companies rolling out energy storage projects.

The director for global market applications at US multinational Fluence, Kiran Kumaraswamy, told a US House Subcommittee on Energy hearing that battery storage developers are still waiting for guidance from the Inland Revenue Service (IRS).

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