Tesla builds world's biggest battery in Australian Outback

Dec 02, 2017, 00:43
Tesla builds world's biggest battery in Australian Outback

The state of South Australia announced on Friday that it had made a wonderful solution to the country's energy difficulties.

The battery dispatched a maximum of 59 megawatts of power.

"The completion of the world's largest lithium-ion battery in record time shows that a sustainable, effective energy solution is possible", Tesla said in a statement.

The US electric auto company was awarded a deal to build the battery earlier this year coupling efforts with French renewable energy firm Neoen. As of December 1, this Australian mega-battery has officially been switched on.

The move fufills a promise by the firm's founder Elon Musk to build it in 100 days or give it away for free.

Tesla beat the deadline by building the mega-battery in just 60 days, though it did get a head start on construction.

"This is history in the making", Premier Jay Weatherill said.

South Australia suffered a severe blackout a year ago that left 1.7 million people without electricity, prompting Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull to lash out at state regulations that encouraged what he believed to be a too heavy a reliance on renewable energy: the Australian Energy Market Operator found that the blackout was caused by too sensitive protection mechanisms at some windfarms in South Australia.

The 100MW/129MWh battery is capable of powering about 30,000 homes for a little over an hour.

Lithium-ion batteries have a greater charge cycle than conventional lead-acid batteries, and can respond within seconds. It is more likely to be used to stabilise power supplies on a regular basis. They store energy generated by the neighboring Hornsdale Wind Farm, owned by French renewable energy company Neoen, to bring added reliability and stability to the state grid.

Although the country still relies on fossil fuels for two-thirds of its electricity, wind energy is a large contributor in South Australia.

Tesla said it hopes the project "provides a model for future deployments around the world".