Tesla to Construct 'Humongous' 300-Megawatt Battery in Australia

Tesla's new battery grid will serve as a buffer for wind and solar energy in Australia.
Brad Bergan

Victoria — Australia's southeastern state — has raised the stakes on grid-scale batteries — announcing a new Tesla partnership to construct a gigantic 300-megawatt battery, according to a blog post on an Australian government website.

The new grid-scale battery will assist with renewable energy storage and grid stabilization.


Tesla to build 'humongous' 300-megawatt battery in Australia

Called the Victorian Big Battery Megapack, Tesla will build the "humongous battery" near Geelong — roughly 43 miles (70 km) southwest of the city of Melbourne. It's expected to provide surge capabilities up to 300 megawatts, with 450 megawatt-hours of energy storage, reports New Atlas.

The battery is thrice the size of the initial 100-MW Tesla system constructed at Hornsdale in South Australia — the biggest in the world when completed, and now upsized to 150 MW. But this year, Tesla won't promise 100-day delivery — since the big battery won't go active until Australian summertime, at the end of 2021.

As a well-connected area with wind farms along the south coast of Australia, Geelong is an ideal location — featuring large solar installations north of Victoria, along with transmission lines connecting a lot of the state to the national power grid.

The forthcoming big battery will use Autobidder to decide in real-time where energy will be best used.

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French renewable company Neoen plans to pay for the big battery grid's installation. Source: Neoen

Australia's new battery to be buffer for wind, solar energy

The French renewable company Neoen will pay for the installation of the new battery grid — which already manages Australia's largest solar farm, in addition to several other projects. Power consumers in Victoria will pay for battery use via their power bills — and the South Australia project has projected a drop, not a rise, in power bills.

The new project will help coal-fired power stations run at more predictable and consistent — which means cheaper — output levels, allowing the Big Battery to compensate load spikes with instant response times, New Atlas reports.

This will be a major step for renewable energy in Victoria — functioning as a buffer storage for wind, solar, and other forms of renewable energy that haven't always matched the energy needs of the area.

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The South Australia project anticipates immediate success and cash savings. Source: Neoen

Tesla's mission is 'to accelerate' world's transition to renewables

Instant success and cash savings predicted via the South Australia project have also convinced worldwide governments to consider large-scale battery storage, said to Robyn Denholm, Tesla's chairman — in agreement with CEO Elon Musk regarding the possibility of grid-scale energy growing into an industry rivaling the automotive business.

"People think of Tesla and they think of the vehicles," said Denholm during a Zoom conference, "and they're fabulous vehicles, but our mission as a company is to accelerate the world's transition to renewable energy."

As the climate crisis poses an increasingly dire threat to resources, with rising sea-levels and wildfires in California — it's good to see a large nation like Australia begin to move toward exiting the fossil fuel industry. The "humongous" Tesla battery is a relatively small step compared to traditional energy generation — but it could also be a testing ground for even larger-scale implementation around the world.

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