The world's biggest lithium-ion battery goes online

December 6, 2017 | 01:46
The world's biggest lithium-ion battery goes online
The world's biggest lithium-ion battery goes online
The Government of South Australia commissioned Tesla to install the world's largest lithium battery in South Australia. The system can store 129 MWh of electrical energy and offers a peak output of 100 MW, which after 10 minutes operation drops to a respectable 70 MW. The battery was built in just 63 days.

The background to this installation is that South Australia relies heavily on renewable energy sources. Energy from wind and PV solar farms is not only costly but also quite unpredictable. According to Murphy's Eco Law, the wind drops and the sun goes behind a cloud whenever power is needed most. This means that power outages are quite common in this region. In autumn 2016, a violent storm shut down wind farms and took out power lines; electricity to 1.7 million consumers was cut off for days, generating enormous political pressure.

In a bid to reduce the likelihood of future blackouts, the Australian state produced a proposal for an energy storage project. This resulted in collaboration between the French wind turbine manufacturer Neoen and Tesla to build the ‘Hornsdale Power Reserve’ plant. The Monster battery installed by Tesla not only serves as a buffer to smooth out power usage but can also deliver 30 MW of power for up to three hours.

 
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