A Tesla Megapack battery installed at the Bouldercombe Big Battery in Queensland, Australia caught fire last night during its commissioning process. The incident, which occurred at 7.45 pm local time on a Tuesday night, has not only raised concerns but also ignited a fresh wave of debates in the ongoing energy transition.
Genex Power, the owner of the Bouldercombe Battery Project, acknowledged the incident and characterized it as a “minor fire.” The fire was contained within a single Megapack 2.0 module, and fortunately, no water was needed to suppress it, as per safety protocols. Genex Power released a statement affirming that no other Megapack modules were affected, and the site was promptly disconnected from the grid.
While the fire is currently contained, concerns about hazardous smoke and the potential for the fire to spread to other units have prompted warnings to nearby residents.
The exact cause of the fire has yet to be determined, and Genex CEO Craig Francis has stated that it’s too early to assess its impact on the project. However, given that the fire was isolated to a single unit, he remains optimistic about minimal project disruption. (via RenewEconomy)
The Bouldercombe Battery Project, boasting a capacity of 50MW and 100MWh, was in its final stages of commissioning and had been operating near its full capacity on day of the fire. It was scheduled to complete its formal commissioning by the end of October, marking a significant step forward in Australia’s transition to cleaner energy sources.
The fire has also pitted the anti-renewable coalition against the federal Labor government in Australia. Critics of renewable technology, primarily those with vested interests in the coal industry, have seized this opportunity to cast doubt on any technology that threatens the status quo.
This isn’t the first time that Tesla Megapacks have encountered fire-related issues. In 2021, during the construction of the 300MW/450MWh Victoria Big Battery, two Megapack modules were destroyed due to a liquid coolant leak. Another incident occurred in 2022 at the Moss Landing battery in California.