Tesla has powered on its world’s largest battery at the Hornsdale Wind Farm 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.
After a week of testing, with the 100MW system being partially charged for the first time on November 24, the Australian Energy Market Operator and South Australian government has given Tesla’s energy solution the green light for operation.
Tesla’s monstrous $50 million battery storage solution is made up of approximately 640 Tesla Powerpacks (129MWh) or roughly the amount of batteries used in 1,300 Model S or Model X 100D consumer vehicles. The storage system will help solve power shortages and manage summertime peak load to improve the reliability of South Australia’s storm-damaged electrical infrastructure. Tesla Powerpack units will charge using renewable energy from the Hornsdale Wind Farm and then deliver electricity during peak hours to help maintain the reliable operation of South Australia’s grid.
“While others are just talking, we are delivering our energy plan, making South Australia more self-sufficient, and providing back up power and more affordable energy for South Australians this summer,” said South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill.
Weatherill is expected to officially welcome-in South Australia’s newest Tesla energy solution on Friday from the battery site located at the Hornsdale wind farm near Jamestown. Musk will not be in attendance at the opening event. Friday also marks the first day of summer in the region.
According to ABC news, Tesla’s battery solution was powered on a day ahead of schedule as temperatures approached 100 degrees F (35 C) and the region faced low output from the state’s wind farms. 59MW of power was dispatched from the battery to support peak energy demands on Thursday. The Powerpack system is rated at 100MW/129MWh and capable of powering approximately 30,000 homes for a little over an hour, according to Tesla.
“The world’s largest lithium-ion battery will be an important part of our energy mix, and it sends the clearest message that South Australia will be a leader in renewable energy with battery storage,” said Weatherill.
Below is a video from July of Weatherhill and Musk talking about building the world’s biggest lithium ion battery in South Australia.