Historic Com'n allows eyesore / fire hazard solar roof on Water Street | Beaufort County Now | in new Beacon Street development but HORRIBLE predecent

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Washington's Historic Preservation Commission has allowed a major eyesore, a solar roof to be installed in a Moss Landing House on Water Street.  Due to it design with a large battery, it is also a fire hazard. 

In the county, more recent solar panel facilities are required to be surrounded by a vegetation buffer so neighbors do not have to look at the eyesore (unfortunately the older ones are grandfathered in without the buffer).  That obviously cannot be done when the eyesore solar panels are put way up on the roof where everyone can see them. Tesla CLAIMS their panels will look pretty, but has anyone EVER seen a solar roof that looks pretty?

The fire hazard comes from the battery which will apparently be installed in the wall and garage.  Solar batteries are made of lithium, which is prone to spontaneous combustion, burns extremely hot, is almost impossible to put out, and gives off highly toxic fumes when it burns.  Tesla cars use big lithium batteries, and have led to Tesla automobiles spontaneously combusting.  A few months ago, one spontaneously combusted in Pennsylvania and burned down both the car and the house it was parked next to.  A few months before in the same county, another Tesla had spontaneously combusted while its owner was driving it down the road.

Tesla also makes large lithium batteries for solar and wind farm storage and several of these in South Korea, Belgium, and Australia have also gone up in flames due to spontaneous combustion.  In those cases, there are widespread air quality warnings due to the highly toxic fumes of burning lithium.

General Motors last year recalled every Chevy Bolt electric car it had ever built due to the propensity of their lithium batteries to spontaneously combust.  It warned any customers who decided to keep the cars to park them at least 50 feet away from any building or other vehicle.  Interestingly, all of the personal injuries resulting from battery fires of these cars were from people breathing the fumes of the burning lithium.

Even when one checks in at the airport, one question they are asked is if they have any lithium batteries with them, the reason being their tendency to spontaneously combust.  Some years ago, a small shipment of lithium batteries was carried as cargo on a passenger flight and spontaneously combusted over the Everglades, crashing the plane and killing everyone on board.

Moss Landing is packed incredibly close together (another big failure of the Historic Preservation Commission to allow that in blatant violation of historic zoning standards).  A lithium fire in one house could easily spread down the block, especially with the heat and intensity of burning lithium.  As close together as these houses are, the lithium fumes could also enter adjacent houses and cause severe health impacts, perhaps death, to their occupants.  Thinking of General Motors warnings, these houses are a lot closer together than 50 feet, and the amount of lithium is probably significantly more than in the car batteries.

All in all, this is one of the stupidest decisions of the Historic Preservation Commission.  The Commission has done a lot of good things over the years but for some reason, their decisions in Moss Landing have never been good ones.

This is all new stuff, but shouldn't our building codes and fire marshals be preventing these things?  The Historic Preservation Commission does simply not have the expertise to be on the front line of the lithium related issues.

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( February 4th, 2022 @ 5:57 pm )
It looks like the fire hazard on those Tesla solar roofs is more than just the lithium in their batteries. The Securities and Exchange Commission is still investigating a whistleblower report from a former Tesla safety supervisor over fire hazards from the roof solar panels themselves, which Tesla has failed to inform customers on. Tesla has recently suspended new installations of the Tesla solar roofs.
( January 30th, 2022 @ 9:11 am )
I wouldn't want to have to look at that solar sh(t in my neighborhood, but a historic neighborhood is many degrees worse. How do we have a historic commission so out of touch?
( January 29th, 2022 @ 11:17 am )
With NC's Green New Deal, HB951, expect to see more pressure for the visual blight of wind and solar. It is surprising that our local historic commission caved in to installing this visual blight into our historic neighborhoods. The minutes of the meeting are up on the city website and they are depressing. It is clear that the commission was not offered and did not ask for a sample of what these misguided fools want to put on their roof, which is an "up yours" to all their neighbors who will have to live with this visual pollution. All they offered was Tesla pictures, which could easily be photoshopped to hide the visual warts of this system. These Moss Landing residents have gotten the foot in the door for lots of bad stuff for the Historic District. One hopes that neighborhoods with restrictive covenants will work to keep this garbage out. The Historic Commission sure let historic property owners down on this one.

The lithium battery problem is an additional issue. I am not sure that it is just Moss Landing houses at risk. It seems to me that some genuine historic houses are within 50 feet of that lithium battery. Building codes ought to be updated to protect against these things. Even the residents installing the battery are putting themselvers in danger, which Tesla probably never warned them about. What happens if that lithium spontaneously combusts in the middle of the night in their basement garage while they are asleep upstairs? Smoke rises. Will they even get out alive?

If memory serves, Tesla had a big project to put solar panels on commercial roofs which did not work out very well, and they got sued by companies foolish enough to install those roof panels.

This wind / solar crusade is a scam and needs a stake driven through its heart.
( January 28th, 2022 @ 4:49 pm )
Good point on the lithium problem. A neighbor who brings a significant amount of lithium near your own house either through a battery for a solar roof or a battery for an electric car is posing a danger to you and your family, causing a fire which could burn your house or fumes that could injure your family. Maybe we need an ordinance that does not allow such quantities of lithium in either form within 50 feet of someone's else's residence.

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