US tech giant Tesla is set to install the world’s largest lithium ion battery in South Australia in partnership with French energy utility Neoen, officials confirmed on Friday.
The installation, which will store energy from Neoen’s Hornsdale wind farm, is expected to be concluded by the end of the year, reports Efe news.
The 100-megawatt battery will operate at all times to provide stability services for renewable energy, and will be available to provide back-up power in case of emergency.
“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,” Tesla founder Elon Musk said at a press briefing here.
Musk said the future Tesla battery will be three times more powerful than the current largest battery in the world, which is 30 megawatts.
“It’s a fundamental efficiency improvement for the grid,” Musk said.
In March, the South Australia government announced a $500 million Australian government ($379 million) power plan, which included the construction of a gas-fired plant and installation of the battery.
However, the details of the agreement between Tesla and the Australian authorities have not been revealed.
South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said the move would put the region at the forefront in global energy storage technology.
“It will completely transform the way in which renewable energy is stored, and also stabilise the South Australian network as well as putting downward pressure on prices,” he said.
South Australia suffered a major blackout in September 2016, during the austral summer, due to a heat wave that hit the region and triggered energy demand beyond the production level.