NAS batteries production on hold

NGK INSULATORS, LTD. has published today a Q&A on the NAS battery fire. They decided to suspend NAS batteries production and asked all customers to stop using already installed Batteries Energy Storage Systems (BESS).

This is bad news, not only for NGK, but for the whole grid-scale batteries sector. In an emerging sector, it is good for nobody when a major actor suffers from such an incident. It risks to discredit any type of grid-scale batteries, especially if opponents to the installation of large-scale batteries exploit the event. Personally, I hope they will rapidly find the cause and be able to resume the production.

NGK directly took the decision to ask their customers to stop using already existing BESS. Was it the right decision? Is NGK too cautious? Not every company would take this decision in similar situation. Look at Chernobyl and Fukushima. Many nuclear power plants are still running. Planes crash occasionally. Do we stop flying? Even wind generators burn and fall down, sometimes injuring people. Do we stop building them?

I know the situation is not exactly the same. But one should consider that their were no casualties. And it would not be the case if another batteries should burn again. BESS are completely automated and remotely monitored. They do not contain explosive components.

Was it wise to stop the production and the operation for one fire, while more than 300 MW of NAS batteries are installed around the world without major problem until now? The decision was premature. No one asked NGK to act so tragically. Stopping the production, ok. On a purely business point of view, it makes sense to wait for the identification of the cause, and then to adapt the processes to solve the problem. At the condition that it lasts not too long. But stopping existing BESS that are running since several years without any incident, it is excessive.

Unfortunately, it is too late. The decision was published. NGK put themselves in a difficult situation. And what would happen if the cause would never be identified?

Gauthier Dupont 

About Dupont
Dupont Energy Consulting GmbH Owner & Director

One Response to NAS batteries production on hold

  1. Pingback: Who are the direct competitors of NGK for NAS batteries ? « Dupont Energy Consulting GmbH – Gauthier Dupont

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