Tesla will build the world’s
largest lithium-ion battery instillation in South Australia, to
solve an electricity grid crisis there.
The massive battery, three times the size
of the second-largest, will be paid for by the State
Government, which this week allowed contractors to bid for the
construction of a 100MW energy storage solution, to ensure
continuous energy supply.
South Australia’s energy
infrastructure has been struggling with repeated blackouts, in
the wake of a storm which damaged infrastructure in the region
Tesla won the contract, with a 100MW
battery storage system, to be paired with Neoen’s
Hornsdale Wind Farm.
On Friday the state’s
premier, Jay Weatherill, confirmed the deal, which forms a key
part of the government’s $550m energy plan.
Earlier in the bidding process, Tesla boss
Elon Musk pledged that he could deliver the battery within 100
days of signing the contract or it would be delivered free.
In June 2017 Tesla won contracts to deploy
storage batteries across New South Wales. This first
instillation will be a 250k 500KWh station in Sidney.
"Upon completion by December 2017, this
system will be the largest lithium-ion battery storage project
in the world and will provide enough power for more than 30,000
homes, approximately equal to the amount of homes that lost
power during the blackout period," Tesla said.
The storage system will be charged with
energy from the wind farm, which it can then add to the grid
during peak hours. The system will have capacity of 129MWh,
about 0.4% of annual battery production at Tesla's Gigafactory
Tesla declined to comment on the potential
volumes of lithium, cobalt, and graphite needed for this
Drive to new battery
This latest Australia deal comes as the
drive to replace petrol and diesel engines with battery-powered
vehicles increases, with support from both governments and
On 6 July, the French government pledged
to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel engines by 2040.
Earlier this week, car manufacturer Volvo
said all of its new car models would be at least partly
electric from 2019.
Norway and the Netherlands plan to stop
the sale of fossil-fuelled vehicles by 2025, while Germany and
India have proposed similar measures by 2030.
And in China, vice-premier Ma Kai recently
emphasised the Chinese government’s commitment to
"Electric vehicle sales in China accounts
for half of global demand, but the Chinese government will
continue to seek breakthrough in battery technology," the
Chinese government agency MIIT said.
"Beijing is funding research and
development efforts to achieve the target of a battery system
that could deliver 260 watts/kg by 2020.
"The government will also accelerate
developments in advance charging technology and strengthen the
construction of charging points," the ministry said.