Tesla's Big Battery in South Australia is going to get 50 percent bigger, according to Neoen's recent press release. Hyperchange host Galileo Russell was among the first to share the news that the Hornsdale Power Reserve may be getting a big expansion. However, Neoen hadn't confirmed Russell's report until now.
Gali Russell from Hyperchange was alerted to commotion happening by an astute Tesla-enthusiast who noticed that semi-trailers filled with Tesla Powerpacks were driving around near the Hornsdale Power Reserve. The Australian made an effort to follow the semis, take pictures of the Tesla Powerpacks, and even ask questions to some of the truck drivers. The anonymous source shared his discovery with the Hyperchange host, based on a previous Tesmanian report.
When Russell first released his source's findings, neither Tesla nor Neoen—the company handling Australia's Big Battery—had released any information about expanding the Hornsdale Power Reserve. So far, Elon Musk's Big Battery in South Australia has saved consumers more than AU$50 million. According to Neoen's press release, it will be expanding Tesla's Big Battery by 50 percent, which is 50 Megawatts or 64.5 MWh.
Today we are excited to announce the expansion of the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia. In partnership with the SA Government, @ARENA_aus & @CEFCAus and supported by @Tesla. This project deepens Neoen's commitment to a future powered by #renewableenergy pic.twitter.com/mJnBMKCGnP— Neoen Australia (@NEOEN_AU) November 19, 2019
The additional Tesla Powerpacks will provide inertia services to the National Electricity Market. Based on the company's press release, South Australia plans to transition to a renewable grid by about 2030. Tesla's Big Battery and its further expansion is a key step towards this goal.
The South Australian Government has warmed to Tesla's Powerpacks and has committed AU$3 million AUD per year for five years to the Hornsdale Power Reserve expansion through the Grid-Scale Storage Fund. An additional AU$8 million was committed to the expansion project by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency through the Advancing Renewables Program.
Prior to its success, some Australian politicians thought Elon Musk's big battery would be useless, or, to some degree, a PR stunt. Not long after the big battery went online, Minister of Resources Matt Canavan even dubbed the Powerpack farm as the "Kim Kardashian of the energy world," as it is not very useful and simply "famous for being famous."
Unsurprisingly, Musk and Tesla refuted Canavan's statements with results, ultimately proving that renewable energy was the way to go. The Horndale Power Reserve was a big win for Tesla's energy department and remains so today, especially now that the Australian government is fully backing the project.