It’s only been a few days since we found out that Walmart has sued Tesla after a number of solar panels installed by the company at the retailer’s shops have caught on fire and already another similar accusation has made an appearance over the same issue – this time it comes from Amazon.
According to the company, the solar panels installed by the Tesla SolarCity division have caught on fire on the roof of one of Amazon’s warehouses, located in Redlands, California.
Amazon has e-mailed Bloomberg with the information, though it’s been a while since it happened: the fire allegedly occurred in June of 2018. A Tesla spokesperson has told Gizmodo that, indeed, an ‘isolated incident’ did happen at one Amazon site at the time. Since then, Amazon has decided to not install any other Tesla systems.
Tesla responded to the information Amazon provided via a spokesperson who told Gizmodo that “All 11 Amazon sites with solar from Tesla are generating energy and are proactively monitored and maintained.Last year, there was an isolated event that occurred in an inverter at one of the Amazon sites. Tesla worked collaboratively with Amazon to root cause the event and remediate.” The statement adds that the company “also performed inspections at the other sites, which confirmed the integrity of the systems. As with all of our commercial solar installations, we continue to proactively monitor the systems to ensure they operate safely and reliably.”
Walmart on the other hand, had already installed the solar panels at around 240 of its stores before the fires happened and, according to the lawsuit against Tesla, the fires in question “originated in the Tesla solar panels.”
In addition to that, Tesla’s own safety inspections in 2019 only found 175 items that needed to be replaced or repaired but 48 of them were recorded as “reflecting conditions that rendered the sites unsafe or potentially unsafe.”
Walmart and Tesla eventually released a joint statement that they are working together on solving the problems.
“Walmart and Tesla look forward to addressing all issues and re-energizing Tesla solar installations at Walmart stores, once all parties are certain that all concerns have been addressed.” The statement says. “Together, we look forward to pursuing our mutual goal of a sustainable energy future. Above all else, both companies want each and every system to operate reliably, efficiently, and safely.”
The Walmart lawsuit and the Amazon allegations are not the first SolarCity has had to deal with: in October, Tesla had to hand over $13 million to the state of Oregon after an investigation revealed that SolarCity had not been completely honest about the real cost of a number of solar power projects installed within the state.