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Neoen, Tesla begin construction of 300MW battery, to be biggest in Australia

December 04, 2020

Renew Economy:

French renewable energy developer Neoen and battery storage giant Tesla have wasted little time getting to work on what will be the biggest battery in Australia, holding a groundbreaking ceremony at the site near Geelong with Victoria energy and climate minister Lily D’Ambrosio on Tuesday.

The so-called Victorian Big Battery will be 300MW and 450MWh, and is due to come into service within 12 months, when it will overtake the recently expanded “Tesla big battery” at the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia which was also built by Tesla and owned and operated by Neoen.

The Victorian Big Battery will have a specific role to play, satisfying a contract with the Australian Energy Market Operator that will enable it to increase imports from NSW via the main transmission link at peak times in the summer season from November 1 to March 31.

“Grid-scale batteries can provide dynamic warp-speed responses so existing transmission lines can operate at full capacity,” Neoen says. “Like adding another lane to a freeway, the battery can unlock additional capacity on existing transmission networks – saving customers millions of dollars in expensive transmission line upgrades.”

It will also become a major new player in the state’s energy market for the rest of the time, buying power at low prices and selling during peak periods, “firming” renewables, as well as providing frequency control and inertia.

“We’ve almost doubled the energy density of the site compared to our previous Powerpack product (used at Hornsdale and other big batteries in Australia). “Importantly, the footprint of the project is significantly smaller than a comparable 300MW Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT),” a Tesla engineer working on the project said in a recent LinkedIn post.

[Giles Parkinson]

More: Neoen and Tesla get to work on Australia’s biggest battery near Geelong

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