Under the agreement, the energy storage systems from Tesla will be paired with Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm and power reserve, with installation scheduled to be completed before summer.
The agreement was announced on Friday by South Australian Premer Jay Weatherill, Tesla founder Elon Musk and Neoen deputy chief executive Romain Desrousseaux.
Musk has given the South Australian Government a commitment to deliver the battery within 100 days from when the grid interconnection agreement has been signed, or it will be free.
According to the South Australian Government, “after leading the nation in renewable energy, the 100MW/129MWh battery places South Australia at the forefront of global energy storage technology”.
Weatherill says the battery will operate at all times providing stability services for renewable energy, and will be available to provide emergency back-up power if a shortfall in energy is predicted.
And he says the deal will also bring other investments by both Neoen and Tesla into South Australia’s economy, with details to be announced in the future – and the selection of Neoen will also strengthen South Australia’s links with France’s high-tech sector and reinforce the State’s “world-leading role in tackling global warming”.
In March, the state government announced a plan for South Australia to take charge of its energy future, ensuring it would become more self-reliant.
“South Australia has been leading the nation in renewable energy – now we are leading the world in battery storage,” Weatherill said.
“I’m thrilled with the selection of Neoen and Tesla, whose experience and world leadership in energy security and renewables will help South Australia take charge of its energy future. Battery storage is the future of our national energy market, and the eyes of the world will be following our leadership in this space.
“This historic agreement does more than bring a sustainable energy giant in Telsa to South Australia, it will also have some significant economic spin-offs.”
Desrousseaux said that at 100MW and 129MWh, the Hornsdale Power Reserve would become “not only the largest renewable generator in the state but also home to the largest lithium ion battery in the world, with our company’s long-term, direct investment in South Australia growing to almost $1 billion since 2013”.
He said South Australian customers would be the first to benefit from the technology which will demonstrate that “large-scale battery storage is both possible and now, commercially viable”.
“Together, the South Australian Government, Neoen and Tesla will demonstrate that renewables can provide dependable, distributable power that will turn a new page in Australia’s energy future.”
Tesla says in a blog on its website that when completed, the South Australian battery 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 state’s blackout.
“Working in close collaboration with the South Australian Government and Neoen, this grid scale energy storage project is not only sustainable, but will help solve power shortages, reduce intermittencies, and manage summertime peak load to improve the reliability of South Australia's electrical infrastructure,” Tesla says.