French renewable energy developer Neoen says the network connection at the expanded Hornsdale Power Reserve (also known as the Tesla big battery) are now complete, and the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery installation will soon be able to offer new services to the grid.
Neoen Australia managing director Louis de Sambucy said in a post on his LinkedIn profile last week that the network connection for the expanded battery – which will grow from 100MW/129MWH to 150MW/194MWh – had been finished.
“The world’s biggest battery to provide soon extra reliability to the grid in those extremely challenging times (very low demand, increased risks of outages,” he wrote in the brief post, including the image above, and adding his congratulations to the teams from contractors CPP, Tesla and Neoen.
As RenewEconomy has reported, in some detail, the expanded battery will provide key services such as digital or “virtual” inertia with the expanded battery, which if successful will represent another key piece of the market that can be assumed by big batteries such as Hornsdale, allow yet more renewables and provide more reason to reduce the dependence on gas generators.
Neoen said at the time the inertia benefits – dubbed by Tesla as its Virtual Machine Mode (VMM) – would facilitate the transition towards a high-penetration renewable grid. In South Australia, the state Liberal government has a target of “net 100 per cent renewables’ by around 2030.
It will need to wait for final approval from the South Australia energy regulator, and commissioning its the local network owner and the Australian Energy Market Operator before it is switched on, but that is expected before the end of June.
The Tesla big battery has already played a key role in enhancing grid reliability and security, making money for its owners, Neoen, and delivering an estimated $150 million in savings to consumers, largely through reduced costs of frequency control and ancillary services, a market traditionally dominated and controlled by the gas generators.
Neoen is also working with Tesla on a 20MW/34MWh battery at the Bulgana energy hub in Victoria, where it will provide a 100 per cent renewable power source to the proposed new giant vegetable glasshouse to be built by Nectar Farms.
Neoen and Tesla are also likely to work together on an even bigger project should Neoen win an upcoming tender to lift the capacity of the main transmission link from Victoria to NSW.
Neoen has proposed a 600MW battery, dubbed the “Victoria big battery” and has filed for a planning application with the Geelong City Council for an installation at Ausnet’s Moorabool terminal.
Neoen says it has not yet finalised a product provider, but the planning documents cite as an example the use of Tesla’s new “megapack”, which have about 1.5MW of capacity and 3MWh of storage – about 15 times bigger than the Powerpacks used at Hornsdale.
That would potentially deliver a battery the size of 600MW/1200MWh, meaning that much of the battery’s capability could be used for purposes other than the transmission capacity upgrade.
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