A 13-ton battery pack of Tesla’s Megapack caught fire on the morning of July 30 at a battery storage facility in the state of Victoria, in southeastern Australia.
According to Victorian Big Battery, the fire occurred during testing at 10:15 a.m. local time. The regional fire service said a professional fire brigade was dispatched to the site in Geelong, Victoria.
Firefighters used a hazmat device designed to combat hazardous chemical spills and specialized drones to conduct atmospheric monitoring.
Victorian Big Battery said the site had been evacuated and no one was injured, adding that the site had been disconnected from the grid and there would be no impact on power supplies. French renewable energy company Neoen is operating the facility, and contractor Tesla is working with emergency services to handle the situation.
As a result of the fire, toxic smoke warnings were issued for the nearby areas of Batesford, Bell Post Hill, Lovely Banks and Moorabool, the report said. Residents are warned to move indoors, close windows, vents, fireplaces and bring their pets indoors.
It is known that the Victorian Big Battery factory is a project built by the Victorian Government in cooperation with Tesla, and directly implemented by Neoen. The plant stores 300 MW/450 MWh batteries, seen as key to the Victorian government’s 50% renewable energy target by 2030.
It follows the success of Neoen and Tesla’s 100 MW/129 MWh battery farm in Hornsdale (South Australia), which was completed ahead of schedule and saved millions of dollars for players and consumers. Essentially, both locations provide regional backup power when renewables are unavailable, effectively filling the void when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.
In February, Neoen announced that the Victorian Big Battery would draw its full power from Tesla’s Megapack – a large battery manufactured at Tesla’s Gigafactory – to the national grid, as sold by the Australian Energy Market. Operator (AEMO) operates. As part of the agreement, the site will provide energy stability by opening up to an additional 250 MW to the grid from Victoria to New South Wales.
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