The world’s largest battery “farm” has opened in Southern Australia in a bid to end the region’s energy crisis.
The farm is connected to the Neoen’s Hornsdale windfarm and is now operational, delivering power to the National Energy Market, Australia’s equivalent of the National Grid.
Elon Musk’s company Tesla is behind the new battery, which will smooth out delivery of the wind energy to the grid. It will act as a generator and charge to and from the National Energy Market.
In March, Musk promised to get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or he would pay for it. The switch on comes just 63 days after the grid connection-agreement was signed, well before the 100 day self imposed deadline.
The new 100MW (129MWh) lithium ion battery is three times the size of its nearest rival and was installed in a bid to make the system more reliable. In September last year, damage to critical infrastructure caused by a 50 year storm caused a major blackout in the state leaving 1.7M residents without power.
Australian prime minister Jay Weatherill said: “South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy, delivered to homes and businesses 24/7.
“This is history in the making.
“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.
“I want to express my gratitude to the workers who have constructed this battery - they have every right to be proud of what they’ve constructed.”