Tesla turned on the world’s largest lithium-ion energy storage facility in the world earlier today in Hornsdale, Australia — with this announcement following closely on the news last week that construction work on the installation had been completed.
“South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy,” commented state Premier Jay Weatherill at the official launch of the French company Neoen’s Hornsdale wind farm.
The Neoen wind energy facility can feed electricity essentially directly into the Tesla energy storage facility, thus greatly reducing potential transmission losses — in case that implication wasn’t clear enough already.
As you’ll recall, Tesla won the bid to develop the 129 megawatt-hour (MWh) facility following a public stunt by CEO Elon Musk to promise that the facility would be given free if the company didn’t finish installation within 100 days of signing a contract.
Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 10, 2017
This will be the highest power battery system in the world by a factor of 3. Australia rocks!! https://t.co/c1DD7xtC90
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 7, 2017
The Australian state was facing much public pressure last year and further into this year following blackouts that followed major storms there. While some wanted to blame it on renewable energy (which provides ~40% of the state’s electricity), the fundamental issue in the state was outdated grid infrastructure and lack of backup capacity in cases where storms knock out significant blocks of the grid. Large energy storage units aren’t the only thing needed to avoid such blackouts, but they are a huge help.
Providing a succinct explanation of why such energy storage installations have value, the vice president of a firm that lost the bidding process for the South Australia project (AES Energy), Praveen Kathpal, stated: “Storage can respond within a fraction of a second. It can address those stability issues very quickly without needing to resort to using large power plants.”
Which is exactly why, regardless of anti-storage and anti-Tesla talking points, large-scale energy storage facilities will become more and more common in the years to come in the regions and areas where they are well suited.
If you missed the backstory to this giant Tesla battery project, read on by clicking the following links …