Technology

Tesla Megapack caught fireplace on the Victorian Large Battery web site in Australia

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Elon Musk speaks for Tesla at Hornsdale wind farms, Australia

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CNBC caught a fire in a Tesla Megapack on one of the largest batteries in the world in the Australian state of Victoria at around 10:15 a.m. local time on Friday.

The cause of the fire at the Victorian Big Battery site in Geelong, Victoria is not yet known.

Paris-based renewable energy giant Neoen partnered with Tesla and AusNet Services to develop the network-wide project to help the state of Victoria achieve a 50% renewable energy target by 2030.

According to recent updates from Neoen Australia on Twitter, the battery was only recently registered with the Australian energy market operator. The fire occurred during the test.

According to a spokesman for the electricity market operator AEMO, the site was safely isolated from the power grid and did not affect the power supply in the region.

Gigantic batteries such as those offered by Tesla, ABB and newcomers like Northvolt can help grid operators move additional capacity between states and ensure that electricity from intermittent, renewable energy sources like sun and wind can be stored and used when needed.

Projects such as Neoen’s Victorian Big Battery and systems such as Tesla Megapacks in it can also ensure that power is available in a transmission network even in the event of unplanned outages.

On a recent conference call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke about his company’s growing energy storage business, claiming there is a demand for more than 1 million Tesla Powerwall home batteries and “a huge amount” of utility mega-packs. Tesla’s power generation and storage revenue reached $ 801 million in the second quarter of 2021, with cost of sales for that business reaching $ 781 million for the quarter.

According to a statement sent to CNBC on behalf of Louis de Sambucy, CEO of Neoen Australia, the fire occurred “in one of the Tesla megapacks in the Victorian Big Battery” during the initial tests of the system on Friday. Nobody was injured, the site was evacuated.

He added, “Neoen and Tesla are working closely with the local emergency services to manage the situation. The site has been disconnected from the grid and the power supply will not be affected.”

Neoen also said it would provide updates as new information becomes available. Tesla and AusNet did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Musk wrote on Twitter after 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 set off a toxic smoke warning, and authorities urged residents in the nearby suburbs to close their doors and windows and turn off heating and cooling systems.

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