Elon Musk speaks at Hornsdale wind farms in Australia for an event for Tesla
A fire broke out at a Tesla Megapack in one of the world’s largest batteries in the Australian state of Victoria on Friday around 10:15 a.m. local time, The Washington City Times has confirmed.
The cause of the fire at the Victorian Big Battery site in Geelong, Victoria is not yet known.
Paris-based giant Neoen teamed up with Tesla and AusNet Services to develop the grid-scale project with the goal of helping the state of Victoria meet a 50% renewable energy target by 2030.
According to recent updates Neoen Australia shared on Twitter, the battery has only recently been registered with the Australian Energy Market Operator. The fire started during testing.
According to a spokesperson for AEMO, the operator of the electricity market, the site is safely isolated from the electricity grid and has not affected the electricity supply in the area.
Giant batteries like those from Tesla, ABB and newcomers like Northvolt can help grid operators move additional capacity between states and ensure that power from intermittent, renewable energy sources, including solar and wind, can be stored and used when needed.
Projects such as Neoen’s Victorian Big Battery, and systems such as Tesla Megapacks within it, can also ensure that power is available even if there are unplanned outages in a transmission network.
In a recent earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke about his company’s growing energy storage business, claiming there is demand for more than 1 million Tesla’s Powerwall batteries for home use and “a huge amount” of utility Megapacks. Tesla’s energy generation and storage revenues during the second quarter of 2021 reached $801 million, with this division’s cost of revenues being $781 million for the quarter.
According to a statement to The Washington City Times on behalf of Louis de Sambucy, director of Neoen Australia, the fire occurred “in one of the Tesla Megapacks at the Victorian Big Battery” during the system’s first test on Friday. No one was injured and the area was evacuated.
He added: “Neoen and Tesla are working closely with the emergency services on site to manage the situation. The site is disconnected from the grid and there will be no impact on the electricity supply.”
Neoen also said it would provide updates if new information became available. Tesla and AusNet did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Musk wrote on Twitter in response to the news of the fire at the large battery site, “Prometheus unbound”, a reference to the god of fire.
Australia’s Financial Review reported that the fire triggered a toxic smoke warning and authorities instructed residents in nearby suburbs to close their doors and windows and turn off heating and cooling systems.