Neoen, expansion of Tesla’s Big Battery system in South Australia is complete

The Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR) in South Australia – the world’s largest lithium-ion battery system – just got bigger after completing its expansion. Its capacity went up 50% from 100MW to 150MW, reports.

The ‘Big Battery’ system was developed by Tesla in 2017 following the severe storms that caused blackouts in South Australia in 2016. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he would build a battery system in 100 days or offer it for free.

The battery’s expansion was introduced by renewable energy producer Neoen, Paris, France, together with backing from Tesla, the South Australian Government and the Federal Government via the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

The extra capacity boosts the Tesla battery’s ability to stabilize the energy grid, reduce the risk of blackouts and avoid price volatility in the energy market.

A review by engineering business Aurecon Group Brand Pty. Ltd. found the initial 100MW battery system provided more than $150 million in savings to South Australians during the first two years since it was built. And these benefits are expected to grow with the expansion.

The battery’s construction and expansion also created 158 jobs, with Aurecon finding that it generated $300 million in economic value for South Australia – half of which within the Yorke and Mid North region.

Testing will now begin on the battery’s capacity to deliver grid-scale inertia services, a key element of grid stability.

“With this expansion and the commencement of grid-scale inertia testing, Neoen continues to lead the way in battery storage innovation and reinforces its contribution and commitment to South Australia’s 100% renewable energy target,” Neoen Australia’s Managing Director Louis de Sambucy said in a statement.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth added that the battery system is a “great example of the technological innovation that has developed to help us deliver cleaner, cheaper renewable energy across a stronger, more reliable grid.”

ARENA CEO Darren Miller believed the battery system will play a major role in providing large scale energy storage for the renewable energy produced in South Australia.

“Of critical importance to ARENA is the valuable information we will gain in showing that batteries are capable of providing inertia services and fast frequency responses to the grid, paving the way for potential regulatory changes and revenue streams to incentivise further grid scale batteries to be built across Australia,” he said in a statement.

Alex Wonhas, AEMO’s Chief System Design & Engineering Officer, said: “AEMO congratulates Neoen on the successful completion of the expanded Hornsdale Power Reserve. We really appreciated Neoen’s collaborative approach throughout the connection process and look forward to working with Neoen to enable the optimal use of this world leading battery to support higher levels of renewable integration.”

Xavier Barbaro, Neoen’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said: “Neoen’s Hornsdale Power Reserve remains a beacon of global innovation and collaboration, and we will continue to build on this experience to deliver new world-leading projects that integrate renewable energy and storage for the benefit of industry and consumers. We look forward to continuing to deliver clean, efficient and cheaper renewable energy for all Australians.”

About Neoen

Neoen is one of the world’s leading and fastest growing independent producers of exclusively renewable energy. With a capacity of more than 3 GW in operation or under construction, Neoen is a high-growth company. Neoen is notably active in Argentina, Australia, El Salvador, Finland, France, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, Mozambique, Portugal and Zambia. In particular, Neoen operates France’s most powerful solar farm (300 MWp) in Cestas, and the world’s first big battery (150 MW storage capacity) in Hornsdale, Australia. Neoen is targeting at least 5 GW capacity in operation or under construction by end of 2021. Neoen (ISIN Code: FR0011675362, ticker: NEOEN) is listed in Compartment A of the regulated market of Euronext Paris.

Previous articleValmet Automotive is making battery systems a new company cornerstone
Next articleSaft technology helps Gold Fields’ Agnew Gold Mine to switch to renewables