SA Tesla battery ready to go national

Dominica Sanda
(Australian Associated Press)


It took less than 100 days to build a giant battery in South Australia and now, one year on, its operators have declared they’re ready to take the technology nationwide.

A report by engineering company Aurecon found the world’s largest lithium-ion battery built by tech billionaire Elon Musk in SA’s mid-north has exceeded expectations since operation began a year ago.

Owner and operator Neoen says the Jamestown battery is providing security and stability across the energy network.

“We are ready to answer the call and do more not only in South Australia but in other states,” chief executive Xavier Barbaro said at the battery’s one-year anniversary celebration in Sydney.

The 100-megawatt battery represents a possible solution to one of Australia’s most pressing problems: the end of life for many large-scale thermal generators across the country.

Neoen head of development Garth Heron said the technology is “hugely scalable” and set to expand across the nation.

“The technology is ready. We will see a lot of these batteries going into the network in Australia,” he said on Wednesday.

The report, published on Wednesday, found the battery’s response time is 100 milliseconds – which means it can go from full output and back within the blink of an eye.

It also suggests the battery has saved the electricity grid nearly $40 million in its first year – savings which have flowed directly through to South Australians and is reflected in their energy bills.

Aurecon’s energy leader Paul Gleeson said while the battery has provided security and peace of mind for South Australians, its value is in its everyday service as it helps keep energy frequencies at a healthy and balanced level.

“Knowing it’s more reliable than any other asset on national electricity market has given a great deal of confidence not just to South Australia but to all other governments and operators going down this path,” Mr Gleeson said on Wednesday.

The battery was built by Mr Musk’s company Tesla in under 100 days and is paired to the neighbouring Hornsdale Wind Farm, owned by French company Neoen, to bring added reliability and stability to the state’s electricity grid and manage its summertime peak load.


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