Just over two years since Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk announced a ground-breaking energy storage project, with the type of Twitter fanfare only he can muster, the world’s biggest lithium-ion system is about to get 50% bigger.
The 100MW/129MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve (deployed by Tesla in 100 days) in South Australia is being expanded by a further 50MW/64.5MWh as the state aims to transition to net 100% renewable energy generation in the 2030s.
Asset owner Neoen, along with Tesla, aim to deliver Australia’s first grid-scale battery to provide inertia benefits to the National Electricity Market in the first half of 2020.
On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has committed AUD8 million ($5 million) in grant funding through its Advancing Renewables Program.
Darren Miller, ARENA CEO said: “The Hornsdale battery is a ground-breaking project that has proven what batteries can do for our electricity system, and this expansion will now show that it is capable of much more by demonstrating inertia, expanded FCAS functionality and extended support for the Heywood interconnector.
“Along with providing essential services to the South Australian grid, this will help to inform the regulatory changes required to value these services and create additional revenue markets for other batteries to enter the market on a commercial basis.
“We hope this project will not only demonstrate the versatility of batteries in providing a range of grid services but also help pave the way for market reform.”
The South Australian government has committed AUD15 million ($10 million) over five years in grant funding toward the expansion through its Grid Scale Storage Fund. The Hornsdale Power Reserve expansion is the first project to receive support from the fund established last November.
The project will also be the first battery project in Australia to benefit from debt financing support from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).