Tesla's Giant Battery in South Australia Is Officially Switched On

02 December, 2017, 01:05 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • Tesla's Record Breaking Giant Battery Officially Launched in Australia

The huge lithium-ion battery is fed from the nearby Hornsdale Wind Farm, and will support the reliability of South Australia's power grid.

The 100-megawatt (MW) battery, which is the world's largest, was built by Tesla in rural South Australia after Musk wagered a bet that he could built it in 100 days or the state would receive it for free.

The 100MW battery was switched on by South Australia's premier, Jay Weatherill on Friday, December 1 who said that it was "history in the making".

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The 129-megawatt-hour battery has garnered significant press for both its size and the nature by which it was acquired.

But with temperatures across South Australia and Victoria hitting the mid-30s, and output from the state's wind farms low, the battery was called upon early to help meet Thursday afternoon's peak demand.

The launch comes after the battery was put under a regulatory testing period that examined the battery's ability to charge to, and from, Australia's National Energy Market and it's ability to act as a generator. This battery is the Powerpack system that can deliver electricity to more than 30,000 homes. South Australia, of course, is no stranger to power outages, as blackouts left much of the area without power last summer. That's great news for a transition to renewables, but the wind is not always blowing; over the past 18 months, the region has suffered a series of blackouts. "It can address those stability issues very quickly without needing to resort to using large power plants", said Praveen Kathpal, vice president of AES Energy, a losing bidder to build the battery.

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In a politically charged debate, opponents of the state's renewables push have argued that the battery is a "Hollywood solution" in a country that still relies on fossil fuels, mainly coal, for two-thirds of its electricity.

Meanwhile, Tesla's Elon Musk has expressed eagerness to compete to fund, build & operate a high-speed transport connection between Chicago O'Hare Airport and downtown.

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