What Tesla’s investment in SA means for the Australian energy market

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The world’s largest lithium ion battery will be installed in South Australia under a historic agreement between the South Australian Government and two leading energy companies.

The energy storage systems from US sustainable energy company Tesla will be paired with French renewable energy company Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm and installed before summer.

South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, said, “South Australia has been leading the nation in renewable energy – now we are leading the world in battery storage.

“I’m thrilled with the selection of Neoen and Tesla, whose experience and world leadership in energy security and renewables will help South Australia take charge of its energy future.

“Battery storage is the future of our national energy market, and the eyes of the world will be following our leadership in this space.”

Confirming the commitment from Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, to deliver the battery within 100 days or it is free, it has been agreed between Tesla and the South Australian Government that the starting date for the 100 days will be once the grid interconnection agreement has been signed.

After leading the nation in renewable energy, the 100MW/129MWh battery places South Australia at the forefront of global energy storage technology.

The battery will operate at all times providing stability services for renewable energy, and will be available to provide emergency backup power if a shortfall in energy is predicted.

Neoen Deputy CEO, Romain Desrousseaux, said, “Neoen is extremely proud to be working with the South Australian Government and Tesla to expand the Hornsdale Wind Farm in Jamestown.

“At 100MW and 129MWh, the Hornsdale Power Reserve will become not only the largest renewable generator in the state but also home to the largest lithium ion battery in the world, with our company’s long-term, direct investment in South Australia growing to almost $1 billion since 2013.

“South Australian customers will be the first to benefit from this technology which will demonstrate that large-scale battery storage is both possible and now, commercially viable.

“Together, the South Australian Government, Neoen and Tesla will demonstrate that renewables can provide dependable, distributable power that will turn a new page in Australia’s energy future.”

The deal will also bring other investments by both Neoen and Tesla into South Australia’s economy, with details to be announced in the future.

The selection of Neoen will also strengthen South Australia’s links with France’s high-tech sector and reinforce the State’s world-leading role in tackling global warming.

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