Three years ago, Tesla built and installed the world’s largest lithium-ion battery at Hornsdale in South Australia. Initially, its capacity was only 100 megawatts, but was pumped to 150 megawatts. The experience with the “battery” was so good that Tesla signed a contract to build another unit even more powerful.
Victoria – Australia’s south-eastern state – has raised the stakes on grid-scale batteries to boost reliability, drive down electricity prices and support the state’s transition to renewable energy – as well as creating jobs as we take steps towards a COVID normal. It has signed a contract with renewable energy specialist Neoen to deliver a new Tesla battery to transform Victoria’s energy system and improve reliability.
Called the Victorian Big Battery Megapack, it will be one of the world’s largest lithium-ion batteries – with a total capacity of 300 megawatts and 450 megawatt-hours of energy storage. It is three times larger than the original version and twice as much as the updated version. The battery will be installed near the Moorabool Terminal Station, just outside Geelong.
It is noted that this place was chosen taking into account the availability of the necessary infrastructure: the city is already connected to wind farms on the south coast, to large solar power plants in northern Victoria. It also runs through power lines connecting most of the state and the national power grid.
To reduce the chances of unscheduled power outages over the peak summer months, the Victorian Big Battery will reserve a portion of its capacity to increase the power flow through the Victoria-New South Wales Interconnector by up to 250 MW. It will also help lower electricity prices for all Victorians by storing cheap renewable energy, support solar and wind projects, and help to deliver a more secure and modern energy system.
Under the terms of the contract, it will provide an automatic response in the event of an unforeseen grid outage and will participate in the frequency regulation of the Australian national market, thereby promoting increased penetration of renewable energies in the state of Victoria (which targets 50% renewable energies by 2030). Large-scale energy storage is an essential element for the development of renewable energies, which operate intermittently.
The project is scheduled to launch in late summer 2021.