Article by Francesca Marasciuolo
Last September, in the state of South Australia, 1.7 milion residents have been without electricity, because of a storm that damaged critical infrastructure, causing a state-wide blackout.
In response, the South Australia Government as a leader in renewable energy started to look for a sustainable solution to ensure Energy security for all the residents, even in the future, and accepted all the expressions of interest to develop a grid-scale energy storage system with at least 100 MW.
In the first week of July, Tesla has been selected, after a bidding process, to develop the project. Tesla’s proposal is about a 100 MW/129 MWh lithium-ion Powerpack (that are modern batteries, with high efficiency) to be paired with the provider Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown (South Australia): the storage system will charge using the energy produced by the wind farm, and it will discharge during the peak hours of day to ensure an uninterruptible power supply and to increase the efficiency of the grid. This project will make the grid a cutting-edge one.
The conclusion of the project is expected for December 2017. The storage system will be the biggest grid-scale battery of the world: not only with renewable source, but also able to reduce interruptions of electricity, to manage any power peaks, so the electric grid becomes more stable and efficient.
“You can essentially charge up the battery packs when you have excess power when the cost of production is very low … and then discharge it when the cost of power production is high, and this effectively lowers the average cost to the end customer. ” it’s what Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, said.
The storage system will provide enough Energy for more than 30000 homes, nearly equal to the amount of homes that lost electricity during the blackout caused by the storm in September.
This is not over: Tesla’s project is also about the installation of batteries in the Australian residential field. The idea is that every home has its own storage system to store Energy during the day, to ensure an uninterruptible power supply in every moment of day, even during the interruptions of the electric grid that may happen.
It is an important step forward, that may convince other states to follow this idea of the integration of renewable energy in everyday life.
Elon Musk (founder of Tesla) announces the project of the biggest storage system of the world in this video.