September 30, 2021: French renewable energy firm Neoen on September 28 said Australian safety regulators had cleared it to resume battery testing at its ‘Big Battery’ energy storage project near Melbourne, two months after a fire with a Tesla battery unit, according to a Reuters news agency report.
At the end of July, a fire broke out in a megapack battery unit in Australia during testing of one of the world’s biggest energy storage projects run by Neoen after a coolant leak triggered a short circuit at two of its locations, causing the site to be disconnected from the grid.
The fire was brought under control four days after it started.
Earlier in July, Neoen Australia’s managing director Louis de Sambucy announced the 300MW/450MWh project was midway through construction. Victorian transmission company AusNet Services said at the time that both transformers that connect the battery to the grid had been successfully energized.
Following the approval to resume energization and testing of batteries, Sambucy said: “We have taken the time to understand the cause of the incident and we have implemented actions to ensure it will not happen again.”
The total cost of the project is not known. However, Neoen won A$160 million ($116 million) from the Australian government earlier this year to help fund the big battery, which is designed to store 450MWh of electricity.