GlidePath Statement on APS Incident
April 23, 2019
GlidePath is closely monitoring an incident that occurred Friday, April 19, 2019, at a battery storage facility near Phoenix, AZ that is owned by Arizona Public Service (APS). From media reports, we know that the cause of the incident is still under investigation and that four firefighters were injured from an apparent explosion in the facility. Our first concern is for the first responders who were injured, and we wish them a full and speedy recovery. Our understanding is that APS has launched a full investigation and we will review all available documentation to understand the cause of this event and everything that can be done to prevent future accidents.
All of Glidepath’s storage projects have operated without safety concerns since they were installed and this type of accident has not occurred at other US storage facilities using lithium-ion technology. Our highest priority is the safety of our employees and neighbors; to this end, we have developed robust safety protocols for our operating projects and work with each host community to provide response planning and training to local first responders.
Even though the incident in Phoenix did not involve a GlidePath project, we have responded by reviewing our existing safety and response plans at GlidePath facilities with our internal teams as well reaching out to our community first responders to review the plans and answer any questions. GlidePath will, as necessary, update our response plans with lessons-learned from this incident in Phoenix as additional information becomes available.
GlidePath routinely prepares project-specific response plans and, prior to building any project, works with local first responders by provide technical training, specialized tools, and opportunities to train at our sites. GlidePath’s projects are designed and operated in conformance with all applicable standards including adherence to the latest NFPA and IFC codes. GlidePath is a member of the Energy Storage Association and, as part of this organization, has been working to update various codes to include specific standards for energy storage (see ESA’s website for more information). We are confident that battery storage is a safe and effective technology that can and should be deployed across the country. GlidePath will learn from this incident to increase our commitment to safety in every aspect of our operations.