‘Just the beginning’ as Australia flips switch on world’s largest electric-grid battery

This article comes from the IEEFA newsletter.

Tesla has provided a 129-megawatt hour battery to South Australia

Tesla Inc recently switched on the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery in time to feed Australia’s shaky power grid for the first day of summer, meeting a promise by Elon Musk to build it in 100 days or give it free.

“South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy,” state Premier Jay Weatherill said at the official launch at the Hornsdale wind farm, owned by private French firm Neoen.

Tesla won a bid in July to build the 129-megawatt-hour battery for South Australia, which expanded in wind power far quicker than the rest of the country but has suffered a string of blackouts over the past 18 months.

In a politically charged debate, opponents of the state’s renewables push have argued that the battery is a “Hollywood solution” in a country that still relies on fossil fuels, mainly coal, for two-thirds of its electricity.

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