Batter Up

World’s largest battery goes online in Australia

In what some consider a landmark achievement for renewable energy, the world’s largest battery went online Monday in Australia.

Hornsdale Power Reserve, in the state of South Australia, features the world’s largest lithium-ion battery, used to provide power to huge wind turbines. The project—a joint venture between French renewables company Neoen and Tesla’s battery storage arm—was launched Monday by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and Neoen Deputy CEO Romain Desrousseaux after being completed in less than 100 days. According to the companies, it is capable of powering over 30,000 homes.

Tesla powerpacks, connected to the wind farm, are now operational and delivering power to the National Energy Market, providing system security services to South Australia. According to a Hornsdale press release, 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. Battery storage is one of the fastest growing market sectors in the renewable energy world, currently riding the momentum of its strongest quarter ever to open 2017. While Tesla’s powerpacks are perhaps the highest-profile items in the energy storage market, in reality the company is working to keep up with companies like AES Energy Storage, who operates the largest fleet of battery-based storage assets in North America.

South Australia is historically crippled by power outages. The project came to life in 2011 when Tesla’s Elon Musk offered to build the battery within 100 days of signing a contract—or else provide it for free. Musk’s tendency to grandstand for headlines has long attracted him to projects like this. When his company pulls it off, the only questions remaining are productivity and reliability once it goes online. Australia generally gets the most sunlight of any place on Earth during its summers (beginning right now for Southern Hemispherians), garnering peak demands for air conditioning and electricity, so by late March into early April, numbers will begin to reflect the project’s effectiveness.

Paris-based Neoen, founded in 2008, will control operation of the battery from its wind farm, via its Australian division.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Record In Store? | Electrical Apparatus Magazine - July 5, 2018

    […] It would include the largest lithium-ion battery installation of its kind: a 300 MW, 1,200 MWh storage project owned by a subsidiary of Vistra Energy, Dynegy Marketing and Trade. Tesla’s 100 MW, 129 MWh battery project at Hornsdale Power Reserve in Australia is the current record holder since being completed in December 2017. […]

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