South Australia’s New Giant Battery Came Online Today

South Australia’s New Giant Battery Came Online Today
Image: ElectraNet

Elon Musk isn’t the only one who can build a giant battery. South Australia’s new big battery came online today, with the hope that it will help provide stability to the state’s energy network.

South Australia is prone to energy problems, with an often unreliable power supply and frequent blackouts. ElectraNet’s new outsized battery has been built to improve the reliability of South Australia’s energy network, storing energy so power supply can continue in the event of a blackout.

Constructed by Adelaide’s Consolidated Power Projects in cooperation with ABB and Samsung, the 30-megawatt battery is located at Dalrymple on the Yorke Peninsula, and is comprised of 2268 individual batteries, six transformers, and over 28km of cables. The battery will gain its power from a rooftop solar power system as well as from AGL’s Wattle Point Wind Farm, and is connected to ElectraNet’s Dalrymple substation.

“The South Australian energy mix and landscape has changed significantly in recent years and the introduction of this battery on the network by ElectraNet is part of our support to transition to a low-carbon economy,” said ElectraNet chief executive Steve Masters, via ABC News.

“On average, it can provide back-up power to 4500 customers in the Dalrymple service area for two to three hours while connection to the grid is being restored.”

ABC News reports that ElectraNet’s battery is about a third the size of the one built by Tesla near Jamestown, which is capable of providing power to tens of thousands of homes for several hours. That battery was built back in 2017, after Elon Musk famously declared he would help fix South Australia’s energy problems by building the world’s largest lithium ion battery. He also claimed that he could do it within 100 days, and that if he didn’t it would be free.

Musk achieved his ambitious target, with the project widely considered a success. Tesla is now installing thousands of Powerwall home batteries to South Australian homes through its Virtual Power Plant project, which is also designed to increase grid stability.