Tesla battery storage fire in Queensland raises concerns


A fire at a large-scale Tesla battery storage facility in Queensland overnight has raised concerns for locals due to potentially hazardous smoke.

A fire erupted at the 50MW/100MWh Tesla battery storage facility called ‘Big Bessie’ in Bouldercombe near Rockhampton in Queensland overnight. The cause is currently unknown.

The newly completed large-scale battery storage facility was a recently finished $60 million project and the second battery storage system in Queensland following a larger 100MW/150MWh facility in Wandown South. There are 40 Tesla Megapack 2.0, one of which is believed to have ignited overnight.

Initial reports suggest that the fire originated in the lithium battery storage unit around 7.45pm. The fire sparked concerns about resident safety and those in the vicinity of the battery facility have been advised by Queensland Fire and Emergency Service to take precautions, such as closing doors and windows, to minimize exposure to smoke and fumes which can be extremely hazardous.

This incident underscores challenges and potential risks associated with large-scale battery facilities, especially those utilising lithium battery technology. Just this year alone there have also been multiple electric car battery fires, which also use lithium-ion batteries, which have proven challenging to extinguish.

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