World’s largest lithium ion battery launched in South Australia

Hornsdale Power Reserve, featuring the world’s largest lithium ion battery (100 MW/129 MWh), was launched today by the Premier of South Australia (SA), Jay Weatherill and Neoen Deputy CEO, Romain Desrousseaux.

This means that, for the first time, clean and affordable wind energy can be dispatched to the grid 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether the wind is blowing or not, improving system reliability. The ability to dispatch into the system when needed, also opens up the opportunity for Hornsdale Power Reserve to sign competitive long-term contracts with medium-sized business directly.

Tesla powerpacks, connected to Neoen's Hornsdale windfarm, are now operational and delivering power to the National Energy Market, providing system security services to South Australia. Prior to the launch, regulatory testing was successfully carried out to ensure the battery’s ability to both act as a generator and charge to and from the National Energy Market.

In March 2017, the State Government announced its Energy Plan, with the objective of delivering cleaner, more affordable and more reliable energy to South Australians, at an estimated cost of AU$550 million. This plan included building the nation’s largest battery, to store renewable energy and have back up power for use as and when required.

In July, following a competitive process, French renewable energy company, Neoen, and US sustainable energy company, Tesla, were awarded the contract to deliver the project, which would be the world’s largest lithium ion battery and installed near Jamestown. Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, promised to get the system installed and working within 100 days. If he failed to do so, SA would get the battery for free. The battery was delivered ahead of Musk’s deadline just 63 days after the grid connection-agreement was signed and before the State Government's deadline of the beginning of summer.

Premier Jay Weatherill said, “South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy, delivered to homes and businesses 24/7. Neoen and Tesla approached the State Government with their bold plan to deliver this project, and they have met all of their commitments, ensuring South Australia has back up power this summer.”  

In August 2017, the South Australian government awarded a contract to construct a 150MW solar thermal power plant at Port Augusta, called Aurora, which is expected to supply all of the state government’s power needs.

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