Tesla battery on fire at Genex’s Bouldercombe Battery Project

Aerial shot of the Bouldercombe Battery Project (Genex fire)
Genex's Bouldercombe Battery Project

Fire crews are monitoring a Tesla battery fire that broke out on Tuesday evening at one of Queensland’s first large-scale battery storage sites, Genex’s Bouldercombe Battery Project near Rockhampton.

Residents reported smelling plastic burning and seeing multicoloured flames as emergency services urged those living nearby to stay indoors and keep respiratory medication close by.

Related article: Genex achieves energisation for Bouldercombe Battery

The fire is reportedly contained to a single battery unit.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Fitzroy Zone Commander John Platt told ABC News the battery pack was still alight and he was unsure how long it would continue to burn.

“They are monitoring temperatures—a lot of that combustion can be internal to the unit so it’s just about monitoring and making sure the visible fire doesn’t spread,” he said.

“We intend to hand the incident back over to Tesla or Energex at some point today.”

“There is no worry for members of the public in terms of that toxic gas issue.”

Platt said the timing of the fire was fortunate, as the region’s bushfire conditions were relatively mild compared to last week, when parts of central Queensland had a high fire danger rating.

Genex Power, which owns and operates the Bouldercombe Battery Project, said no one was at the site at the time of the incident.

“On advice from the Queensland fire brigade and protocols provided by Tesla, the fire is being allowed to burn out under the supervision of the fire brigade,” a spokesperson said.

A Tesla battery fire took place at the Victorian Big Battery project in July 2021, with fire crews allowing the fire to burn out rather than attempting to extinguish it.

Related article: Cooling system leak led to Victorian Big Battery fire

“If we try and cool them down it just prolongs the process,” the CFA’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer Ian Beswicke said at the time.

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) later determined the Victorian Big Battery fire most likely resulted after a cooling system leak caused a short circuit in an electrical component in a Tesla Megapack.

Previous articleShow us the money: incentivising home energy habits
Next articleEnergy retailers to include ‘better offer’ statement on bills