Energy

British billionaire to tackle Tesla for title of world's biggest battery

British billionaire to tackle ...
Tesla's storage battery at Hornsdale Wind Farm, currently the world's largest, is set to lose the title to a new battery being built by Simec Zen Energy
Tesla's storage battery at Hornsdale Wind Farm, currently the world's largest, is set to lose the title to a new battery being built by Simec Zen Energy
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Tesla's storage battery at Hornsdale Wind Farm, currently the world's largest, is set to lose the title to a new battery being built by Simec Zen Energy
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Tesla's storage battery at Hornsdale Wind Farm, currently the world's largest, is set to lose the title to a new battery being built by Simec Zen Energy

In November last year, Tesla completed construction of the world's biggest battery in South Australia. But now, just a few months later, another contender is looking to swoop in and steal the crown from Elon Musk and co. Simec Zen Energy and British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta are planning to build an even larger storage battery in the same Australian state.

The new battery system is set to be built in Port Augusta, storing energy harvested by a solar farm currently under development at the Whyalla Steelworks. When it's completed, the new system is set to boast an installed capacity of 140 MWh and be capable of on output of up to 120 MW, compared to Tesla's 129 MWh/100 MW system at Jamestown.

Renewable energy has been a focus for the state of South Australia in recent years. Severe weather caused rolling blackouts in late 2016 and early 2017, leading the state government to "take charge of the state's energy future," eventually awarding the contract of the large battery storage system to Tesla.

Earlier this year, Tesla and the SA government announced plans to create a 250 MW "virtual power plant," installing solar panels and Powerwall battery packs onto some 50,000 homes that will generate and feed power into the grid.

Construction on the new battery system is due to begin later this year.

Source: ABC

6 comments
Edward Vix
Great stuff, except that this is not without a huge environmental impact as it will most likely require a tremendous amount of mining for the various elements of the battery. Usually this is in exploitative places like the Congo. Same problem with electric cars.
Craig Jennings
They've just had an election and the Virtual Plant is apparently off the cards.
Wombat56
@Edward Vix: And you think mining millions of tons of coal and dumping the resultant CO2 into the atmosphere won't have a huge environmental impact?
ljaques
Would the Congo, etc. have any income if it weren't from mining? I haven't looked into this, but on the surface, it seems to be a boon to all. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_lithium_production Where the Congo fails to show up, Edward Vix. https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/lithium-ion-battery-production-is-surging-but-at-what-cost And to the folks at GreenTech, I'd ask "Why aren't countries processing it themselves, as Elon has said he wished to do at the GigaFactories? And why are they shipping entirely unprocessed ore just to save time?" As NewAtlas posted a couple weeks ago, more tech is coming online to more inexpensively remove lithium from salt water, so that may reduce mining, as well. What I haven't seen laid out is the difference between coal mining and lithium mining. I would think the lithium to be the much lesser evil when it comes to energy production, especially with people worried about human control (bwahahaha) of Climate Change, kumbaya. [I'm for lowered footprints, not alarm.]
swaan
Also, Lithium batteries are almost 100% recycleable. I'd like to see somebody recycle burnt diesel or coal :D
BrianK56
It's great that Elon Musk throws out silent challenges and challengers gear up.