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Tesla's massive battery powering thousands of homes in a remote part of South Australia is getting a huge upgrade to bring more stability to the power grid.
As it stands the 100-megawatt battery system can store 129-megawatt hours of energy that's supplied from wind turbines. According to the Sydney Morning Herald Tesla says that's enough to power 30,000 homes.
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Battery already powers 30,000 homes in Australia
With the expansion, the battery is being increased to 150 megawatts. Tesla is supporting the initiative, which was spurred on by Neoen, the French energy company that owns the site of the battery system.
Tesla's battery system includes the Hornsdale Power Reserve and the Hornsdale wind farm. Neoen says consumers have saved more than $50 million since the battery system went live last year. It expects the expansion to be completed in the first half of 2020 and for consumers to save even more money.
Neoen said the expansion also marks the first large scale demonstration of the potential for battery storage to provide inertia to the network. It ensures Australia can continue to harvest wind and solar to transition to 100% renewable energy in the 2030s, all the while reducing the cost of electricity.
The project has the support of the Australian government
The expansion of the battery is being supported by Australia's Renewable Energy Agency which is putting up $8 million. The South Australian government has already said it would spend $3 million annually during the next five years on the initiative. Neoen said it the first battery project in the country to benefit from debt finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. "The expansion of Hornsdale Power Reserve is demonstrating the critical and multiple roles that batteries will play in the grid of the future," said Louis de Sambucy, Managing Director Neoen Australia in a press release announcing the expansion.