Tesla to build "humungous" 300-megawatt battery in Australia
South Australia's neighboring state of Victoria has upped the ante on grid-scale batteries with the announcement that it's partnering with Tesla to build a colossal 300-megawatt battery for grid stabilization and renewable energy storage.
The "humungous battery," or Victorian Big Battery Megapack, will be built near Geelong, some 70 km (43 miles) southwest of Melbourne, and will offer surge capabilities up to 300 megawatts, and 450 megawatt-hours of energy storage.
It's three times bigger than the original 100-MW Tesla system built at Hornsdale in South Australia, which was the biggest in the world when it was built just three years ago and has now been upsized to 150 MW. Tesla won't be making any 100-day delivery promises this time; the installation won't open until the Australian summer at the end of 2021.
Geelong has been chosen as a location that's well connected to wind farms on the south coast, large solar installations in the north of Victoria, and transmission lines connecting much of the state and the national power grid. Its Autobidder software will constantly make decisions on where the energy can best be used.
The installation will be paid for by French renewable energy company Neoen, which already runs Australia's largest solar farm among many other projects. Victorian consumers will pay for the use of the battery through their power bills – but the South Australia project has shown that Victorian power bills will go down, not up, as a result. This project will allow coal-fired power stations to run at more consistent and predictable (hence cheaper) outputs, letting the instant response times of the Big Battery deal with load spikes.
It'll also be huge for the Victorian renewable energy market, acting as excellent buffer storage for wind, solar and other renewable energy that isn't always generated exactly when it's needed.
The immediate success and cash savings demonstrated by the South Australia project has inspired governments all over the world to consider large-scale battery storage, said Tesla Chairman Robyn Denholm, agreeing with CEO Elon Musk that the grid-scale energy side of the business could eventually grow to be just as important as the automotive side. It's also no less significant to the company's core mission: "People think of Tesla and they think of the vehicles," she said in a Zoom conference, "and they're fabulous vehicles, but our mission as a company is to accelerate the world's transition to renewable energy."
Prepare to see a lot more of these giant battery projects; the first terawatt battery won't be too far away. The video below provides a preview of the Victorian Big Battery.
Source: Premier of Victoria