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Neoen to turn Tesla Megapacks back on in big battery after July fire


A Tesla Megapack in Moss Landing, California

Andrew Evers | CNBC

Renewable energy giant Neoen plans to switch its Tesla Megapacks back on at the Victorian Big Battery in Southeast Australia this week, after a fire in late July at the energy storage site.

Neoen, a Victorian safety regulator for electricity gas and pipelines granted Tesla permission to “reenergisation tests of the Victorian Big Battery”, Neoen announced in an emailed message on Monday.

Neoen is the owner and operator of Victoria’s Big Battery. It is one world’s most powerful energy storage system. The battery is designed to prevent blackouts and provide electricity for homes with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

Neoen, a Paris-based company, created the website with AusNet, Tesla Energy, and AusNet. UGL was involved in some of the construction. Tesla did not disclose its sources for the project, nor the types of batteries it used to power the Megapacks. These are battery-based lithium-ion storage systems.

Tesla has not yet responded to my request for comment.

On July 30, Geelong (Victoria) saw a fire at its battery site. The 300 megawatt facility (450 megawatt hour) was set ablaze by two Tesla Megapacks. There were no reported injuries, however the fire caused a toxic alert for nearby residents.

The fire was fought by 150 Fire Fighters from Country Fire Authority Victoria, and Fire Rescue Victoria. There were also dozens of support vehicles, fire trucks, and drones to monitor the temperatures. No other Megapacks were affected by the flames. There are 210 of them.

Elon Musk speaks at Hornsdale wind farms in Australia for an event for Tesla

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By Aug. 1, two days after the eruption, fire fighters stopped using water on site. It was declared in control by the Country Fire Authority on August 2.

Neoen and Tesla were then asked to stop operations at Geelong by WorkSafe Victoria, Energy Safe Victoria, the Environment Protection Authority and Country Fire Authority. This was in order for them to complete parallel investigations.

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