Remember when Elon Musk offered to build a grid-scale battery for Southern Australia in “100 days or it’s free”? He made good on his bet, installing it on time for the cost of $66 million in December of 2017.
According to a report on its first year of operation, the Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR), owned and operated by Neon, the world’s largest lithium-ion battery energy storage system, with a discharge capacity of 100 MW and energy storage capacity of 129 MWh, located near Jamestown, South Australia, sharing the same 275 kV network connection point as the 300 MW Hornsdale wind farm, saved $40 million in its first year.
HPR is three times larger than any other lithium ion battery. It provides high-quality, rapid and precise Regulation of Frequency Control Ancillary Services [FCAS] with Fast Frequency Response [FFR], faster than existing large steam turbines which take minutes to ramp up.
“It can rapidly discharge and charge over fractions of a second to support the safe and stable operation of the grid when it’s under threat, or when something unexpected happens elsewhere, not just in the State but in the National Electricity Market.”
“HPR’s FFR capability was proven in a major system security event on 25 August 2018 (detailed in case study) where HPR operated as required, accurately dispatching energy to support the network through both high and low frequency periods.”
The HBR project began after a state-wide blackout in 2016 when the South Australian government solicited bids. Tesla was chosen out of 90 other competing companies.
Tesla explained the system’s capabilities, saying, “It will help solve power outages, reduce intermittencies and manage summertime peak load to support the reliability of South Australia’s electrical infrastructure, providing enough power for more than 30,000 homes—approximately equal to the amount of homes that lost power during the blackout period last year.”
Tesla also says it will recycle the batteries after their 15 year lifetime, planning to recover up to 60% of the materials.
South Australia has gone from less than 1% renewables in the early 2000s to 48.9% in 2016/17 and is expected to rise to 73% by 2020/21, perhaps the fastest renewable growth rate in the world. Australia’s electricity sector alone is on track to deliver the country’s entire Paris emissions reduction targets by 2025 instead of 2030, five years early.
”Remarkably, the net cost is zero because expensive fossil fuels are being replaced by cheaper renewables.”