Tesla’s Newest Big Battery in Australia Set to Back Up Wind Farm

(Bloomberg) --

Tesla Inc.’s latest big lithium-ion battery is set to start in South Australia, one of the nation’s biggest users of renewable generation, where it will support a steady flow of power from a wind farm.

Infigen Energy’s Lake Bonney storage system, equipped with a 25 megawatt Tesla battery, is in the final stages of testing and close to full commercial operations, the state’s energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said in a statement following a visit to the site, which includes an existing 278.5 megawatt wind farm. Infigen said in November the battery started operating at full capacity Nov. 29.

The project “will allow South Australia to incorporate more renewable energy into the system and move towards net-100% renewable energy in the 2030’s,” van Holst Pellekaan said. Solar and wind power already meet more than half of the state’s electricity demand, compared to around 20% nationally.

The Lake Bonney system follows the 100 megawatt Hornsdale facility installed by Tesla in 2017, also in South Australia. Hornsdale has been profitable for French owner Neoen SA, which bills it as the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery and said in November it plans to boost its capacity 50%. A third Tesla battery in Australia, backing up the Gannawarra solar farm in Victoria state, started commercial operations in March.

Power from the Lake Bonney unit will also be used to supply Tesla’s fast-charging Supercharger car stations, which are being rolled out across Australia.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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