The 50 percent expansion will enhance capacity by 50 MW/64.5 MWh and should be completed by mid-2020.

The capacity increase comes in the wake of a $A15 million grant from the South Australian Government over the course of five years and $8 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) by way of its Advancing Renewables Program. This marks the premiere battery project in Australia to reap the benefits of debt financing support as given through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The first Tesla Big Battery was installed beside Neon’s 315MW Hornsdale Wind Farm in late 2017, saving purchasers an approximate $50 million its initial year of operation.

The expanded site, located 200km north of Adelaide, South Australia, will serve as the initial grid-scale battery in Australia to supply inertia benefits to the National Electricity Market, making possible the shift toward a high-penetration renewable grid.

The delivery of more Tesla Powerpacks lends strength to Neoen’s Hornsdale Power Reserve’s reputation as the largest battery in the world.

Neoen Australia Managing Director Louis de Sambucy cited the support of the South Australian Government, ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation in funding the endeavour. He says that batteries will play an important part in the future, delivering cleaner, cheaper and more dependable energy for years.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said that large-scale batteries will guarantee dependable supply and power system security, as Australia makes the transition to renewable energy.

This phenomenon will necessitate changes to Australian rules and regulations to add value to these new services and enable other batteries to enter the market commercially, said Miller.

Miller hopes, in addition, that this endeavor will prove the versatility of batteries in supplying grid services, but also inspire market reform.

The expansion will be a global first demonstration of how battery storage can supply inertia, shielding the grid’s security of the grid by maintaining the consistency of frequency.

Deriving inertia from large batteries demonstrates worldwide importance and adds to the Big Battery’s existing role as a “shock absorber” during disturbances.

This is also the premiere project to get funding from the South Australian Government’s Grid Scale Storage Fund, intended to quicken the deployment of new storage projects in South Australia that can resolve the intermittency of the state’s electricity supply.

South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan stated that the expansion of the battery was expected to inspire substantial savings.

The minister expressed a desire for South Australians to possess less expensive and cleaner power, and renewable energy must be paired with storage to supply electricity to households and businesses when needed.

South Australia is the best in the nation in the uptake of wind energy and rooftop solar with renewable sources, responsible for more than 50 percent of the electricity generated in the state.

One third of South Australian residences possess rooftop solar, which, when added to the state’s 22 major wind farms and trio of large-scale solar PV producers, provide for more than 100 per cent of the state’s daytime demand.