Infigen Energy looks to have secured an exciting new retail customer for its renewable electricity, after South Australia’s state energy minister on Tuesday made mention that the owner of the Lake Bonney wind farm and big battery had secured a contract to supply Tesla’s national electric vehicle supercharger network.
Infigen’s Lake Bonney facility – a newly commissioned 25MW/52MWh Tesla Powerpack battery situated next to 275MW of wind projects – got a visit from minister van Holst Pellekaan on Tuesday, where he praised the criticle role of grid-scale storage for his renewables-rich state.
“Assets such as the Lake Bonney Wind Farm and Battery provide reliable, affordable and renewable electricity to this state’s commercial and industrial customers,” he said.
“It will allow South Australia to incorporate more renewable energy into the system and move towards net-100% renewable energy in the 2030’s.”
But the minister also appeared to announce that Tesla – the EPC provider of the Lake Bonney battery system – had become one of the new commercial customers supported by Infigen’s expansion into the South Australian retail electricity market.
“Infigen was recently awarded a retail contract to supply Tesla fast-charging supercharger stations with energy across Australia,” he said.
“Not only will the Lake Bonney Battery use Tesla batteries to store energy, it will also allow Infigen to fuel electric cars at Tesla Superchargers across Australia.”
RenewEconomy has asked for confirmation of this contract from Infigen Energy, and had not heard back in time for publication. But in the minister’s release, Infigen’s executive director of finance and commercial, Sylvia Wiggins, described the Lake Bonney Battery as an important asset in the company’s generation portfolio.
“Lake Bonney allows us to grow the volume of renewable energy we sell to commercial and industrial customers,” Wiggins said.
“We are pleased to be partnering with South Australian customers, communities and governments as we lead Australia’s transition to a clean energy future”.
Certainly, the deal makes every bit of sense for both Infigen and Tesla, and fits neatly with Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy and transport – particularly as its newest electric car, the Model 3, becomes the biggest selling EV in Australia.
Tesla’s supercharger network – pictured in the map below – is currently heading into the 30s in numbers, but is expected to keep growing as electric vehicle uptake in Australia starts to take off.
As The Driven reported on Monday, data and analyst estimates suggest that in 2019, the sales of new pure electric cars in Australia reached around 5,000 vehicles, or about 0.5 per cent of the total new car market. Tesla accounted for around 70 per cent of these sales, possibly more, and the Model 3 accounted for around two-thirds of annual electric sales, even though first deliveries of that model only started in late August of 2019.