South Australia's big battery to grow 50% bigger
Renewable energy company Neoen plans to expand its Hornsdale Power Reserve battery array in South Australia, strengthening its position as the largest utility-scale battery in the world.
The company plans to expand the Tesla Big Battery’s capacity by 50% to 150 MW/193.5 MWh, and expects the upgrade to be complete by mid-2020.
The project will be supported by a $15 million state government grant over five years through the Grid Scale Storage Fund, which is designed to accelerate the deployment of new storage projects in South Australia that can address the intermittency of the state’s electricity supply.
The project will also benefit from $8 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) through its Advancing Renewables Program, and will be the first Australian project to benefit from debt financing support from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
The initial Tesla Big Battery was installed alongside Neon’s 315 MW Hornsdale Wind Farm in late 2017.
The expanded battery will be the first grid-scale battery in Australia to provide inertia benefits to the National Electricity Market, helping to protect the security of the state’s power grid by keeping frequency consistent.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said large-scale batteries are set to play a key role in ensuring Australia maintains a reliable supply of power as it transitions to renewable energy.
“Along with providing essential services to the South Australian grid, this will help to inform changes to our rules and regulations to value these new services and help other batteries enter the market on a commercial basis,” he said.
“We hope this project will not only demonstrate the versatility of batteries in providing a range of grid services but also help pave the way for market reform.”
Renewable energy sources already account for more than 50% of the electricity generated in South Australia.
The state’s 22 major wind farms and three large-scale solar PV producers, as well as the rooftop solar panels installed on an estimated one in three households, often supply more than 100% of the state’s daytime energy demands.
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