Tesla Effect’ Fuels Australian Drive for Renewables+Storage
The blazing-fast success of the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery—installed by Tesla late last year in South Australia—has helped build confidence in a variety of large-scale renewables and renewables-plus-storage projects across the country.
In its first month, Tesla’s 100-megawatt/129-megawatt-hour Hornsdale Power Reserve battery system kicked in in under a quarter of a second to seamlessly cover for an unplanned outage at a coal-fired power station in neighbouring Victoria state.
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Now, Tesla’s French partner in developing the South Australia battery system—and delivering it in under 100 days—is planning an even bigger installation in Queensland. It would support a planned 130-MW wind development near Cairns.
While neither Tesla nor Neoen Australia would confirm that the two would collaborate again on what the latter termed “a very large battery” to meet “a lot of need for electricity storage” related to the Queensland development, the two have made public a plan to build a relatively modest, 20-MW/34-MWh battery in Victoria.
And The Guardian reports that the enthusiasm for clean energy generated by what it calls the “Tesla Effect” has gone beyond projects balanced by battery storage.
U.S.-based SolarReserve, for one, has announced plans for a A$650 million, 150-MW/1,100-MWh solar thermal generating plant at Port Augusta, South Australia. Citing a report in Solar Quotes, The Guardian says the facility will employ directional mirrors to heat a molten salt thermal storage medium. It is projected to meet “100% of the state government’s electricity needs by 2020.”