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