Fire incident reported at 139MW Terra-Gen US storage facility

September 20, 2020

A fire broke out at the 139MW Terra-Gen Valley Center Energy Storage Facility in San Diego County, California on Monday evening (18 September), according to reports.

The facility produces enough electricity to power up to 140,000 homes for four hours on a single charge, and has secured long-term power purchase agreements with San Diego Gas & Electric.

Media reports said the fire broke out at around 5.15pm local time and that the Valley Center Fire Department and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department were called to the scene. Terra-Gen personnel also attended the scene to coordinate the response with the emergency services.

Due to the incident, road closures were put in plance on Valley Center Road between Sunset Road and Vesper Road and Cole Grade Road south of Valley Center Road. In addition, as a precautionary measure,  an evacuation order was issued for homes and businesses within a quarter of a mile from the site.

Prior to the incident, the facility had provided the local community with “tens of millions in tangible economic benefits in the form of direct and indirect jobs associated with the project’s construction, increased property taxes, and donations to the local Valley Center Fire Protection District”, Terra-Gen had said.

A report published earlier this month by Firetrace International, a supplier of fire suppression technology to the renewable energy industry, concluded that there is a real danger that public opposition to energy storage could grow significantly as a result of fire risk fears, threatening critical battery deployment and, as a result, net zero goals.

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