Earlier this year, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared a national energy emergency as parts of the country were under prolonged power outages over the last year due to its unstable grid. South Australia got it worst with a state-wide blackout in September.
They set out to stabilize their grid by adding a large amount of energy storage and started a bidding process to install over 100 MWh of energy capacity. Tesla CEO Musk made the company’s bid very public and even promised that Tesla could deliver over 100 MWh of energy storage in 100 days or it would be free.
Today, it was announced that Tesla won the contract.
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Not only that, they increased the capacity of the system. The energy capacity is 29 MWh higher than expected, but the power output is even more impressive. Tesla wrote in a blog post:
“This week, through a competitive bidding process, Tesla was selected to provide a 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack system to be paired with global renewable energy provider Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, South Australia. Tesla was awarded the entire energy storage system component of the project.”
It’s 3 times the power capacity of the next largest system in the world.
Dozens of companies were competing for the contract, which says a lot about Tesla’s competitive offering when it comes to large-scale energy storage.
The battery system will be connected to Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm and it will charge using the electricity generated by its wind power in order to deliver it to the grid during peak hours.
They expect the project to be installed by December 2017:
“Upon completion by December 2017, this system will be the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world and will provide enough power for more than 30,000 homes, approximately equal to the amount of homes that lost power during the blackout period.”
Musk, who is in Australia today for the announcement, updated the 100-day claim by saying that it would start once an electricity grid interconnection agreement has been signed with the local utility.
While this contract is by far Tesla’s biggest to date, bigger than their solar + Powerpacks project powering Kauai or the 80 MWh Powerpack station with Southern California Edison, it’s not the only way Tesla is adding energy storage in Australia.
As we recently reported, activity has been increasing at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, where Tesla is manufacturing those products.