Australia's Victorian Big Battery site evacuated after Tesla Megapack fire

by Margaret Lau
Neoen said the VBB will comprise a total of 210 Tesla Megapacks. Image: Neoen
The site of the 300 MW grid-scale Victorian Big Battery (VBB) project in Australia has been evacuated, following a fire within one of the project’s Tesla Megapack lithium-ion batteries.

French renewables developer Neoen, who operates the plant through a subsidiary, said no-one was injured in the incident, which broke out during initial testing of the facility at around 10am local time near Geelong, in the state of Victoria.

"Neoen and Tesla are working closely with emergency services on site to manage the situation,” a Neon statement said.


"The site has been disconnected from the grid and there will be no impact to the electricity supply. We will provide updates and further details as they become available.”

The 300 MW / 450 MWh VBB is expected to start commercial operations for the 2021-22 summer. Neon said earlier this month that deliveries of the battery equipment would continue until August.

The facility will comprise a total of 210 Tesla Megapacks, which Neon has said will store enough energy in reserve to power more than one million Victorian homes for half-an-hour. Each Megapack is pre-assembled with the battery modules, bi-directional inverters, a thermal management system, an AC main breaker and controls in one enclosure.

Neoen is also behind plans for a 500 MW / 1,000 MWh ‘Great Western Battery’ facility in Lithgow, in the Australian state of New South Wales.

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