South Australian government signs agreement with Tesla and Neoen to build world’s largest lithium ion battery

- July 10, 2017 2 MIN READ
Elon Musk

The South Australian government has announced a new agreement between renewable energy company Neoen and Tesla that will see the world’s largest lithium ion battery installed in Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm in SA.

Tesla’s 100 MW/1920 MWh lithium ion battery, or “Powerpack”, system will harness renewable energy from the Hornsdale Wind Farm, delivering electricity during peak times to help the region’s existing grid deal with the high electricity demand during summer and reduce the chances of power shortages occurring.  

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said he was thrilled with the selection of Neoen and Tesla, two global leaders in energy renewables that would help drive the future of the state’s energy sector.

“Battery storage is the future of our national energy market, and the eyes of the world will be following our leadership in this space,” he said.

The energy agreement falls under the state government’s 21st Century Energy Plan, which was introduced in March as a way to solve South Australia’s grid issues after a series of blackouts the state experienced over the previous summer.

Costing $550 million, the plan seeks to invest in new energy sources to help the government take control of the state’s power, with $75 million going towards a new Renewable Technology Fund.

The first project named under the fund was the development of Australia’s largest grid-connected battery; having stated Tesla could complete the project within 100 days, Musk was invited to put Tesla forward through the tender process.

Securing the tender through a competitive bidding process, Musk is upholding his tweeting promises, with the agreement outlining that the grid will be completed 100 days from Tesla’s signing of the agreement, with development expected to wrap up by December.

The Powerpack battery will operate at all times, and will supply enough energy to power more than 30,000 homes – approximately the same number of homes that lost power during the last year’s blackout periods.

In a blog post, Tesla stated, “Tesla is proud to be part of South Australia’s renewable energy future, and we expect this project will provide a model for future deployments around the world that will help significantly accelerate the adoption of sustainable energy.”

Selected for participation in the project amongst 90 other expressions of interest, Neoen’s Deputy CEO Romain Desrousseaux said the company would help drive a “new page” in Australia’s energy future.

Established in 2013 in conjunction with the South Australian government, the Hornsdale Wind Farm, Desrousseaux said, will be expanded alongside Tesla to host the large-scale battery technology.

South Australian customers will be the first to benefit from this technology which will demonstrate that large-scale battery storage is both possible and now, commercially viable,” he said.

Beside sustaining the state’s grid, Weatherill added that the agreement will bring forth other investments by both Neoen and Tesla into the South Australian economy, with the details to be unveiled in future.

“This historic agreement does more than bring a sustainable energy giant in Tesla to South Australia, it will also have some significant economic spin-offs,” he said.

Image: Elon Musk. Source: NBC.