World's largest Li-ion battery marks one week of operation
The world’s largest lithium-ion battery was switched on one week ago today at South Australia’s Hornsdale Power Reserve at Hornsdale Wind Farm, at an event attended by SA Premier Jay Weatherill and Neoen Deputy CEO Romain Desrousseaux. For the first time in the state’s history, clean and affordable wind energy can be dispatched to the grid 24 hours a day, seven days a week — whether the wind is blowing or not.
The launch was the culmination of an extraordinary journey which began when the state government announced its Energy Plan in March, with the objective of delivering cleaner, more affordable and more reliable energy to South Australians — and avoiding a repeat of the state-wide blackout that occurred in September 2016.
The plan included building the nation’s largest battery, to store renewable energy and have backup power on tap when required. The ability to dispatch into the system when needed would also open up the opportunity for Hornsdale Power Reserve to sign competitive long-term contracts with medium-sized businesses directly.
In July, following a competitive process, French renewable energy company Neoen and US sustainable energy company Tesla were awarded the contract to deliver the project, which would be installed near Jamestown, north of Adelaide. Tesla CEO Elon Musk made headlines when he agreed to deliver the battery within 100 days or at no charge, starting once the grid interconnection agreement has been signed.
Sixty-three days later, Musk had fulfilled his promise.
The 100 MW/129 MWh battery has since been installed at Hornsdale Power Reserve, where it is delivering power to the National Energy Market and providing system security services to South Australia. Engineering company Lloyd’s Register (LR) worked with Neoen to help deploy the technology by developing the technical parts of the grid connection, and ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Australian energy network.
“This was the first use of a new technology on the network, and required some out-of-the-box thinking,” noted Neoen Managing Director Franck Woitiez. “Now that we’ve successfully deployed the technology, there is a clear pathway to connecting storage projects to the network, which will greatly accelerate the pace of renewable energy growth in Australia and elsewhere.”
Premier Jay Weatherill described the launch as “history in the making”.
“South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy, delivered to homes and businesses 24/7,” he said.
“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 backup 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.”
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