Tesla has contracted to build the world’s biggest lithium ion battery. It will be installed at a wind farm in South Australia before the end of the year – in time for the next Australian summer.
The successful tender was announced in the South Australian capital Adelaide on 7 July as a partnership between Tesla and French renewable energy company Neoen for the 100MW/129MWh battery at Neoen’s Hoensdale wind farm in the state’s mid-North.
It follows a claim by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in March that he could stabilise South Australia’s energy supply in 100 days.
South Australia leads the nation in the uptake of wind energy and rooftop solar with renewable sources accounting for more than 40% of the electricity generated in the state. However, the closure of two coal-fired power stations in recent years has increased South Australia’s reliance on energy supplies from the eastern Australian states, particularly at times of peak demand.
As part of the agreement, Tesla and the South Australian government have set the starting date for the 100 days from when the grid interconnection agreement has been signed.
The battery will operate at all times providing stability services for renewable energy, and will be available to provide emergency back-up power if a shortfall in energy is predicted. Elon Musk has stated that the Tesla Powerpack to be installed will be three times as powerful as the largest existing storage unit of similar type.
Tesla beat 91 bidders for the battery contract. South Australian premier Jay Weatherill believes that the facility will put downward pressure on electricity prices.
The first wind turbines in the 100 MW Phase 1 project at Hornsdale were brought on line last July, with phases 2 and 3 expected to boost the wind farm’s total capacity to about 300 MW.