South Australia is moving ahead with a $1billion solar farm and also installing the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery. This project was announced in March of 2017 and is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.
This new electricity generation station comes on the heels of blackouts that have plagued the area of Australia since September. This grid scale battery could improve reliability of the grid, even out the price spikes that have been ongoing and prevent blackouts.
Elon Musk’s company will install the battery and says that once the contract is signed, they will have it completed in 100 days or the battery will be free.
The 129MWh lithium ion battery would become the largest in the world. The battery will be built near Jamestown, in the state’s mid-north, and will be paired with Neoen’s Hornsdale windfarm to provide stability for renewable power being fed into the grid.
The battery will help keep prices from fluctuating. As Elon Musk says,
“You can essentially charge up the battery packs when you have excess power when the cost of production is very low … and then discharge it when the cost of power production is high, and this effectively lowers the average cost to the end customer.It’s a fundamental efficiency improvement for the grid.” – Elon Musk
This project is following the recently completed installation of a 80MWh grid scale battery farm in Southern California that was installed in just 90 days and cost $100m USD.