Tesla will boost by 50% the size of the world’s largest battery storage unit, which runs alongside a wind farm in Australia and is set to offer more services to the electricity grid there.
The so-called Tesla Big Battery will be expanded to 150MW, adding 50MW and 64.5/MWh to the facility alongside the 315MW Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia.
Renewables operator Neoen said the increase is designed to help the battery deliver grid services such as inertia, helping the deeper penetration of renewable generation into the network.
The Hornsdale battery was famously installed in 2017 following a Twitter post by Tesla boss Elon Musk claiming that he had the answers to blackouts that hit South Australia, blamed by some on the variability of wind power.
Neoen said the project saved consumers more than A$50m ($34m) in its first year of operation.
The expansion, which will be backed by the state and federal governments, will be completed next year.
Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which is providing debt finance to the project, said: “We see grid-scale batteries as a critical part of the next wave of investment that will support the rapid and unprecedented changes we are seeing across Australia’s electricity system.
“The Hornsdale Power Reserve has already delivered substantial benefits to South Australia, providing grid reliability, reducing energy costs and integrating the State’s substantial renewable energy resources into the grid. It is an exciting model that can be extended across the grid to strengthen reliability and maximise the benefits of renewable energy.”
The Tesla Big Battery is among a wave of large-scale innovative projects that have put Australia at the forefront of global advances in areas such as storage, hybrid plants and green hydrogen.
Global renewables giant Iberdrola last week announced it would pick Australia for its first foray into Asia, a 320MW wind-solar hybrid, describing the market there as offering “tremendous potential”.