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Elon Musk's 'big battery' to power up

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South Australia’s ‘big battery’ is set to be energised for the first time as part of regulatory testing ahead of its official opening next week.

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The State Government announced today that the 100MW Tesla-built facility – which it believes to be the world’s largest lithium ion battery – will power up progressively over the coming days before being fully energised by around the middle of next week.

The Tesla Powerpacks have been fully installed on the site near Jamestown in South Australia’s Mid North, where it will draw power from French company Neoen’s Hornsdale windfarm.

Premier Jay Weatherill said testing would ensure the battery meets the requirements of the State Government and the Australian Energy Market Operator. Even during testing, the battery would start providing “system security services” – such as frequency control and inertia – to the South Australian electricity grid.

Part of the Government’s plan to stabilise the state’s electricity system, the battery facility will store renewable energy from the windfarm in order to provide back-up power when needed.

The battery, which is due to be operating in time for the high-demand summer months, will be officially launched on December 1 by the Premier and representatives from Telsa and Neoen.

Tesla boss Elon Musk has made two trips to South Australia this year: for the announcement that Tesla had won the tender to provide the battery, and to speak at the International Astronautical Congress in September.

Musk promised early in the year to complete the project within 100 days “or it’s free”, with the clock to start ticking once a grid connection agreement was signed. That agreement was inked in late September, well after Tesla began construction, meaning there’s little risk that Musk will miss the deadline.

Weatherill said today the battery would make South Australia more self-sufficient as well as “providing back-up power and more affordable energy for South Australians this summer”.

An enormous amount of work has gone in to delivering this project in such a short time, and I look forward to visiting Jamestown next week to personally thank those who have worked on this project,” he said.

– InDaily

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