Following Tesla’s successful deployment of the world’s largest battery in South Australia, carrying out CEO Elon Musk’s 100-day target to install a grid-scale Powerpack battery unit, or the system would be free, another state in the land down under has lined up as Tesla Energy’s next customer. As noted in a recent report from the Sydney Morning Herald, Victoria has joined South Australia in its push towards a large-scale renewable energy system.
Tesla’s South Australia Powerpack facility currently stands as the largest lithium-ion battery of its kind on the planet. Powered by clean energy from Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, the mammoth 100 MW/129 MWh battery is capable of powering up to 30,000 homes during blackout periods.
According to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the Powerpack system in SA has already proven itself multiple times since it was completed, providing ample backup power and other grid services hundreds of times in December 2017 alone. More notably, Tesla’s energy system recently supplied emergency power to one of Australia’s biggest coal-fired power stations after it experienced an unexpected loss of power on December 14.
The notable success of Tesla’s South Australia facility seems to be a significant driving force for the state of Victoria, which ultimately decided to pursue a contract with the California-based electric carmaker and energy firm to install its very own Powerpack system. Victoria’s batteries would be installed in Bulgana, though at 20 MW, the system would only be 1/5th the size of South Australia’s facility.
Franck Woitiez, managing director of Neoen, a French energy firm and Tesla’s partner in the SA Powerpack system, is optimistic about the potential of Victoria’s batteries. According to the Neoen executive, the Bulgana Powerpack system might even be enough to provide adequate support for the area’s power grids in the near future.
“The performance of the South Australian battery is outstanding. The Bulgana battery is primarily going to provide energy to Nectar Farms and may support the grid in the future,” he said, according to a SMH report.
Energy officials in Victoria are also equally excited about Tesla’s upcoming Powerpack system. According to energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio, the Elon Musk-led energy company’s forthcoming project would play a vital role in Victoria’s pursuit of renewable energy.
“(The agreement is) a major step forward for communities, businesses and the renewable energy industry. This project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while helping meet Victoria’s renewable energy generation targets,” the energy minister said.
John Grimes, head of the Smart Energy Council, further stated that the clean energy initiatives of South Australia, and now Victoria, are but the beginning. Grimes also said that 2018 might very well be a pivotal year for renewable energy.
“What we’re seeing with the South Australian battery, what we’re seeing in Victoria, is really the tip of the iceberg for a pipeline of projects that’s coming along. This is a breakout year for energy storage.”
Tesla’s South Australian Powerpack system initially captured the public’s eye after Elon Musk and fellow billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes, who co-founded Atlassian, conducted a friendly wager on Twitter. During the two billionaires’ Twitter exchange, Musk raised the stakes of the bet by declaring that Tesla would build a working Powerpack system for SA in 100 days or it would be free. Not long after, South Australia became home to Tesla’s largest lithium-ion battery system in the world.