Battery modules at Phase 1 Moss Landing energy storage project overheat, avoid fire

Battery modules at the utility-scale Moss Landing Energy Storage site in coastal central California overheated this past weekend but did not cause a fire or do any harm to outside systems or any people, system owner Vistra Energy reported.

The 300-MW/1,200-MWh Phase I project suffered an overheating issue with a limited number of battery modules late Saturday evening, according to NRG. The risk mitigation and safety systems detected the temperature above operational standards and triggered targeted sprinkler systems aimed at the affected modules.

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The Moss Landing project is located in Monterrey County. Site operators called the local fire departments to respond, but no injuries occurred nor damage reported outside the facility, according to the report.

Texas-based Vistra Energy celebrated the start of operations for the 100-MW Phase II in August. That Phase II system was not affected by the overheating event and is available for operation, Vistra said.

Teams from Vistra, battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution, engineering and construction firm Fluence, and other external experts are conducting their initial walkthroughs of the building in order to gather information and begin their investigation into the root cause of the issue. The North County Fire Protection District of Monterey County is assisting with the investigation.

The Phase II 100-MW system, which is located in a separate building on site, has not been affected by the event. It is currently available for operation. The first phase was connected to the power grid and began operations in December 2020, according to reports.

The battery storage site is called the world’s biggest such project. It is backed by long-term resource adequacy contracts with Pacific Gas & Electric.

The battery storage complex is co-located on the site of the 19-year-old Moss Landing combined cycle gas-fired power plant in Monterrey County. Vistra leaders say the energy storage component could be expanded up to 1,500 MW and 6,000 MWh capacity.


  • Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering, POWERGEN International and the online POWERGEN+ series. He is a 13-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper journalist and trade publication editor. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and

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