IRVING, Texas — Jan. 21, 2022 — Vistra (NYSE: VST) today announced its principal investigation findings and corrective actions related to the Sept. 4 incident that caused limited battery damage at its Phase I (300 megawatts/1,200 megawatt-hours) Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility in Monterey Bay, California.
The investigation found that in response to detection of very low levels of smoke in one area of the facility, the water-based heat suppression system armed and, because of failures of a small number of couplings on flexible hoses and pipes, improperly sprayed water on battery racks. The smoke is believed to have originated from a failed bearing in an air handling unit, which is separate from the battery system. The water damaged the batteries and caused some to overheat, thus creating more smoke which, in turn, resulted in the release of more water and caused damage to additional batteries. In total, roughly 7% of the facility’s battery modules were damaged.
At the time water was first released by the heat suppression system, all battery module temperatures were recorded as within established temperature limits. Accordingly, the investigation found that the batteries were not the initial source of smoke or a cause of the incident.
The incident was controlled and contained without the need for outside assistance and, importantly, did not have any impact on employee safety or on the community. Phase II (100 MW/400 MWh) of the facility has remained online and operational throughout the incident and investigation.
Vistra has implemented a number of corrective actions to reduce the potential for a similar incident occurring in the future. A summary of the investigation findings and corrective actions can be found here.
"Our priority was to conduct a safe and thorough investigation as quickly as possible, and implement any necessary corrective actions,” said Curt Morgan, chief executive officer at Vistra. “The Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility is playing a key role in helping California achieve lower emissions and improve grid reliability, and systems like these will become more necessary as additional renewable power is integrated into electric grids across the US. Vistra is committed to continuing to invest in these and other technologies, in a responsible and safe manner, to support the ambitious energy transition goals of both California and the nation.”
Since the Sept. 4 incident, Vistra has been in regular communication with state regulators and local officials and has briefed them on the investigation findings and corrective actions.
With the corrective actions now implemented, Vistra is working with regulators and local officials to return the Phase I facility to service in a staggered manner. The expectation is for 100 MW to be online by the end of the first quarter in 2022 and the remaining 200 MW returned to service in the second quarter, prior to the all-important summer season when demand for electricity reaches peak levels.
Vistra (NYSE: VST) is a leading Fortune 275 integrated retail electricity and power generation company based in Irving, Texas, providing essential resources for customers, commerce, and communities. Vistra combines an innovative, customer-centric approach to retail with safe, reliable, diverse, and efficient power generation. The company brings its products and services to market in 20 states and the District of Columbia, including six of the seven competitive wholesale markets in the U.S. and markets in Canada and Japan, as well. Serving nearly 4.3 million residential, commercial, and industrial retail customers with electricity and natural gas, Vistra is one of the largest competitive electricity providers in the country and offers over 50 renewable energy plans. The company is also the largest competitive power generator in the U.S. with a capacity of approximately 39,000 megawatts powered by a diverse portfolio, including natural gas, nuclear, solar, and battery energy storage facilities. In addition, Vistra is a large purchaser of wind power. The company owns and operates the 400-MW/1,600-MWh battery energy storage system in Moss Landing, California, the largest of its kind in the world. Vistra is guided by four core principles: we do business the right way, we work as a team, we compete to win, and we care about our stakeholders, including our customers, our communities where we work and live, our employees, and our investors. Learn more about our environmental, social, and governance efforts and read the company's sustainability report at https://www.vistracorp.com/sustainability/.
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