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Local company to help build Yorke Peninsula's battery

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After being brought in to help build Tesla’s “world’s biggest battery” facility in the mid north, South Australian company Consolidated Power Projects has been awarded the contract to build a much smaller storage facility on the Yorke Peninsula.

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CPP was brought into the Tesla 100MW battery project in August and, today, transmission company ElectraNet announced the company would work with international power company ABB and battery provider Samsung to deliver the 30MW battery at Dalrymple substation on the Yorke Peninsula.

The Dalrymple battery is part-funded by the Commonwealth Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

ElectraNet chief executive Steve Masters said construction would begin this month, with the battery expected to be ready for full operation by May 2018.

“The battery will demonstrate how energy storage can strengthen the grid and improve reliability for the lower Yorke Peninsula,” Masters said in a statement.

“It will work with AGL’s existing 90 MW Wattle Point Wind Farm and rooftop solar PV to provide back-up power in the event of any interruption to supply from the grid until the grid is restored. These learnings will be applicable in the future to other potential grid locations.”

CPP, which has its head office in the Adelaide CBD and employs about 100 South Australians, was established in 1996 under the ownership of a Mauritius company. It became an independent Australian-owned operation in 2008 and was bought by Texan engineering and construction firm Quanta Services in 2014.

The Yorke Peninsula announcement comes four days after Tesla boss Elon Musk visited Jamestown to reveal his battery storage facility, being funded by the State Government,  is already about 50 per cent complete.

In a development which the parties insist is a coincidence, not part of a staged PR exercise, Musk’s visit to South Australia corresponded with the signing of the network connection agreement for the battery – an agreement which finally triggers his promise to build the facility within 100 days or it’s free.

Before the clock started ticking on the promise, Musk was able to complete half of the facility, which will work with the nearby Neoen Hornsdale Wind Farm to add reliability and stability to the state’s electricity network.

The agreement has been approved by the Australian Energy Market Operator and signed by transmission company Electranet.

“Tesla and Neoen now have 100 days to complete the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world,” Tesla said in a statement.

“It will help solve power outages, reduce intermittencies and manage summertime peak load to support the reliability of South Australia’s electrical infrastructure.”

Musk, who was in Adelaide for to speak at the International Astronautical Congress, now appears to have no chance of losing his bet, made on Twitter early in the year.

When asked by InDaily whether the agreement had been delayed to coincide with Musk’s visit, ElectraNet said: “No it was not. The transmission connection agreement is between ElectraNet and Neoen and this document was executed once it was finalised late last week.”

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