South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill last week announced that Tesla has won a solicitation to build a 100 MW, 129 MWh energy storage project at a wind farm operated by Neoen of France.
The storage facility will be "built and working" within 100 days of contract signature or it will be free, keeping with an offer made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in March.
- The project will be located at Neoen’s 315 MW Hornsdale wind farm that is under construction. When completed, it would be the world's largest lithium-ion battery installation.
Back in March, Musk tweeted that he could solve South Australia’s power crisis in 100 days. Roughly four months later, he is getting his chance.
The 129 MWh project Tesla is building at Neoen’s wind farm is contracted to come online by Dec. 1.
South Australia earlier this year experienced rolling blackouts that attracted the interest of developers eager to demonstrate the capabilities of energy storage.
Tesla’s proposed storage facility will be used to reinforce South Australia’s grid and improve resiliency. The batteries will be charged by the wind farm and will discharge into the grid during times of peak and high demand. The batteries will also serve to smooth the integration of variable wind energy into the network and to provide backup power in the event of outages.
When completed, the 129 MWh facility would be the largest lithium-ion battery facility in operation, at least for a time. The title is currently held by San Diego Gas & Electric's 120 MWh Escondido storage facility, though there are larger non-lithium batteries in operation, such as the Kyushu Electric Power Co. 300 MWh sodium-sulfur battery facility.
All those batteries could soon be eclipsed by other planned facilities down under, however. Brisbane renewable energy firm Lyon group announced plans for a 100 MW, 400 MWh battery storage facility in March, slated for siting alongside a 330 MW solar farm. And Queensland's SolarQ is planning a lithium storage facility of up to 4,000 MWh to be paired with a 350 MW solar facility.
Those batteries aren't planned to be installed before the Tesla facility, however, giving the company the title of largest lithium-ion facility once again. Before SDG&E's Escondido project came online, Tesla briefly held the distinction for its 80 MWh facility for Southern California Edison.
“Battery storage is the future of our national energy market, and the eyes of the world will be following our leadership in this space,” Weatherill said in a statement.