French power generator Neone SA stated Tuesday it would broaden its Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, the world’s largest lithium-ion battery, by 50% to help improve the stability of the state’s energy grid.
The A$71 million ($48 million) deal will enlarge the 100-megawatt battery, which is owned and managed by Neoen, and was built two years ago along with Tesla Inc.
The step comes as energy storage turns into increasingly vital to managing energy supply in Australia as coal-fired plants are closed, and alternatives are needed to back up intermittent photovoltaic and wind power.
The Hornsdale undertaking originated from a promise by Tesla’s Elon Musk to help keep the lights on in South Australia following a series of blackouts by building a battery within 100 days or giving it to the state without spending a dime.
South Australian Energy and Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the expansion was done to scale back spot price volatility and protect the grid from network disturbances.
The undertaking will receive A$15 million from the South Australian government, as much as A$50 million ($34 million) in cheap loans through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and A$8 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
“Large-scale batteries are playing a crucial role in offering short time period, large-scale vitality storage to help agency and balance the grid,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller mentioned in a statement.