Tesla wins SA battery storage contract

A visual representation of how the site will look upon completion.

The world’s largest lithium ion battery will be installed in South Australia under a historic agreement between Tesla, Neoen and the South Australian Government.

The construction of the 100MW battery is part of the government’s $150 million Renewable Technology Fund.

The energy storage systems from Tesla will be paired with Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm and installed before summer.

Confirming the commitment from Tesla CEO Elon Musk earlier this year to deliver the battery within 100 days or it is free, it has been agreed the starting date for the 100 days will kick off once the grid interconnection agreement has been signed.

Premier Jay Weatherill said he was thrilled with the selection of two world-leading companies in energy security and renewables.

“South Australia has been leading the nation in renewable energy – now we are leading the world in battery storage,” he said.

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

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

After leading the nation in renewable energy, the 100MW/129MWh battery places South Australia at the forefront of global energy storage technology.

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.

The deal will also bring other investments by both Neoen and Tesla into South Australia’s economy, with details to be announced in the future.

The selection of Neoen will also strengthen South Australia’s links with France’s high-tech sector and reinforce the State’s world-leading role in tackling global warming.

“Neoen is extremely proud to be working with the South Australian Government and Tesla to expand the Hornsdale Wind Farm in Jamestown,”

Neoen deputy chief executive officer Romain Desrousseaux said.

“At 100MW and 129MWh, the Hornsdale Power Reserve will become not only the largest renewable generator in the state but also home to the largest lithium ion battery in the world, with our company’s long-term, direct investment in South Australia growing to almost $1 billion since 2013.

“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.

“Together, the South Australian Government, Neoen and Tesla will demonstrate that renewables can provide dependable, distributable power that will turn a new page in Australia’s energy future.”

A statement from Tesla said the Powerpack system would further transform the state’s movement towards renewable energy and see an advancement of a resilient and modern grid.

“Upon completion by December 2017, this system will be the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world and will provide enough power for more than 30,000 homes, approximately equal to the amount of homes that lost power during the blackout period,” the statement said.

“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.”