MELBOURNE, AAP – The biggest battery in the southern hemisphere is operating in Victoria.

Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio on Wednesday officially launched the $84 million Big Battery, located at Moorabool near Geelong.

Owned and operated by French renewable energy giant Neoen, the battery has the capacity of 300 megawatts and 450 megawatt-hours – making it more than double the size of billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla big battery built in South Australia in 2017.

The Victorian battery also uses the Telsa technology and made global headlines when it caught fire during testing in July.

An investigation found the blaze, which went for four days, was most likely sparked by a coolant leak causing short-circuits. It prompted Tesla to upgrade its global fleet of Megapack batteries.

Ms D’Ambrosio said the battery would safeguard the state’s energy supply in the summer, reduce energy prices and support the government’s emissions reduction plan.

“The Victorian Big Battery will deliver cleaner, cheaper and more reliable power and help us reach our ambitious target of halving emissions by 2030,” she said.