Tesla turns on world’s largest lithium-ion battery in SA

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

The world’s largest lithium-ion battery storage facility in South Australia, built by manufacturing giant Tesla, has begun dispatching power following testing.

State premier Jay Weatherill will attend the 100MW site’s official opening today, 200km north of Adelaide, near Jamestown.

As temperatures across South Australia and Victoria hit the mid-30s, the battery, which sits alongside Neoen’s Hornsdale windfarm, has been switched on early to meet peak demand ahead of the summer.

Worth US$50 million (A$64 million), its launch means the site is running ahead of schedule after Tesla co-founder and CEO, Elon Musk, bet that the company could have the unit up and running within 100 days.

Testing last Saturday met requirements set by both the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the South Australian government.

The 100MW/129MWh battery is capable of powering around 30,000 homes for roughly an hour and reportedly dispatched a maximum of 59 megawatts of power yesterday.

“While others are just talking, we are delivering our energy plan, making South Australia more self-sufficient, and providing back up power and more affordable energy for South Australians this summer,” Weatherill said.

“The world’s largest lithium-ion battery will be an important part of our energy mix, and it sends the clearest message that South Australia will be a leader in renewable energy with battery storage.”