Renewable Energy Fire Safety

CFA provides support to planning authorities, designers and operators of renewable energy facilities in relation to bushfire risk and fire safety.

CFA's Design Guidelines and Model Requirements for Renewable Energy Facilities v4 (2023)

CFA has updated theDesign Guidelines and Model Requirements for Renewable Energy Facilities (PDF 12.8MB) for 2023. Version 4 includes updates to account for rapid changes in technology and facility design, battery energy storage systems in industrial and commercial facilities, and neighbourhood batteries. A list of the changes from version 3 (2022) to version 4 (2023) is available here (PDF 374.5KB).

The CFA Design Guidelines and Model Requirements for Renewable Energy Facilities (PDF 12.8MB) contain CFA's expectations for consideration of bushfire risk and fire safety measures in the design, construction, commissioning and operation of renewable energy facilities, including solar facilities, wind facilities, and facilities with large-scale battery energy storage systems.

 Guidelines and Model Requirements for Renewable Energy Facilities, v4 2023

When should consultation with CFA occur?

While CFA’s guidelines provide general guidance, the design team should consult with CFA’s Specialist Risk and Fire Safety Unit early in the planning and facility design phase, well before the finalisation of planning applications and facility design. Consultation with CFA's Specialist Risk and Fire Safety Unit is encouraged at all stages of a project's life cycle.

What information does CFA need for initial consultation?

The availability of the following information (where possible) during initial consultation supports the provision of specific advice for facility planning and design.

  • The site address/land parcel information (such as a current VicPlan Property Planning Report).
  • Locality plan, showing the facility within the landscape.
  • Details of the facility, its type and size (such as the area and perimeter, potential vehicle access points, indicative number of solar panels/arrays, wind turbines, battery capacity/containers, power conversion equipment/units).
  • Site layout plans, showing the proposed location of site vehicle access points, internal roads, solar arrays/wind turbines/battery containers, fire water supplies, grid connection points/substations, buildings and vegetation (where available).
  • Specifications/technical data sheets on battery energy storage systems (where applicable and available).

Across Victoria battery energy storage systems are being proposed in local communities to enable the power network to support more rooftop solar.  Community or neighbourhood-scale battery energy storage systems range from 100kW to 5MW.

CFA has developed guidance to support consideration of fire risk for neighbourhood battery energy storage systems (PDF 380.8KB) from proposal development through to operation.  To ensure fire risk is effectively considered within neighbourhood battery proposals, engaging with CFA's Specialist Risk and Fire Safety Unit as early as possible is essential.

EPRI BESS Failure Event Database

Bouldercombe, Queensland - 26 September 2023
Warwick, New York - 26 June 2023
Moss Landing, California - 20/21 September 2022
Chandler, Arizona - 18 April 2022
Monterey County, California - 4 September 2021
Moorabool, Victoria - 30 July 2021
Beijing, China - 16 April 2021
Liverpool, UK - 15 September 2020
Surprise, Arizona - 19 April 2019
Drogenbos, Belgium - 11 November 2017

CFA Guidelines for the Provision of Emergency Information (2019)

CFA recommends the provision of Emergency Information Books (PDF 1.9MB) for the use of emergency responders at all renewable energy facilities. Emergency Information Books contain key information for emergency responders arriving on-site during emergencies.



Page last updated:  Wednesday, 7 February 2024 1:45:18 PM