Tesla is about to bring its battery technology to another project in South Australia, the state with the largest percentage of renewable energy in the country. Infigen Energy announced on Wednesday plans to use Tesla Powerpacks to build a 25-megawatt (or 52 megawatt-hour) battery energy storage system to store power from the nearby wind farm and keep the lights on.
It’s the latest in a series of Tesla battery projects in the state, including the 100-megawatt world’s largest battery in Hornsdale that resulted from a bet with CEO Elon Musk. Around a third of the state’s energy comes from renewables, but a 50-year storm event in September 2016 caused a statewide blackout. The event spurred a US$400 million investment in protections like batteries that can store up energy for later use. Infigen’s US$27 million development, US$7 million of which will be joint funded equally by the state government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, will be located by the 279-megawatt Lake Bonney Wind Farm and connect up to the national electricity market.
The wind farm comprises 46 Vesta V66 and 66 Vesta V90 turbines, connected to the grid with a 132 kilovolt high-voltage line. The battery system will store energy during times of low prices, normally when the wind is blowing hard, and distribute it out when prices are high. The batteries will take a minimum of two hours to charge. Infigen’s control system will work alongside Tesla’s in-house Powerpack technology, the same product that wowed observers when the Hornsdale installation plugged a surprise power failure in just 140 milliseconds.
“The Marshall Government are strong supporters of increasing battery storage to harness the full potential of South Australia’s abundant renewable energy and the lower prices that will be delivered to households and businesses,” Dan van Holst Pellekaan, South Australia’s minister for energy, said in a statement.
Infigen expects construction to start in the coming weeks. While construction is underway, Tesla is also working to start rollout of Powerwall 2 batteries and solar panels to 50,000 homes, forming a giant virtual power plant backed by the state government.
Tesla is paving the way for South Australia’s renewable energy future.