Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Imagine if people were crazy enough to install these difficult to extinguish battery incendiary devices in their homes or automobiles, or near populated areas. Imagine what such foolishness could do to insurance premiums, once companies catch on to the risk of batteries acting as potent initiators and accelerants in house fires, or realise they might have to unexpectedly cover the cleanup cost of adjacent homes and gardens contaminated with poisonous residues from the battery smoke.
Blaze at Tesla Big Battery extinguished after three days
Fire crews have extinguished a blaze at Victoria’s new Tesla Big Battery, the largest lithium-ion battery in the country, after taking more than three days to bring it under control.
One of the Tesla megapack batteries at the site in Moorabool, near Geelong, caught fire during testing shortly after 10am on Friday.
The Victorian Big Battery, with a capacity of 300 megawatts and 450 megawatt-hours, is three times bigger than the initial size of billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla big battery built in South Australia in 2017.
The authority said that, because of the nature of the fire – a 13-tonne battery – firefighters couldn’t put water on it or employ ordinary suppression methods. Instead, they had to let it “burn out” and wait for the container to cool down enough to open its doors.
Authorities had warned of toxic smoke billowing from the site on Friday. Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority has been monitoring air quality at the site over the weekend, and determined it was “good” by Monday afternoon.
At the very least in my opinion these batteries should be sited well away from densely populated areas, and the practice of storing large batteries near or inside homes should cease. As political vanity causes grid scale battery packs to grow in size, the potential for long term harm to anyone unlucky enough to breath the smoke or eat produce grown in battery smoke fallout contaminated soil will also rise.