Tesla to build world’s largest lithium-ion battery in South Australia

Tesla has won a contract to build the largest lithium-ion battery in the world in South Australia, which, at 129MWh, will be three times larger than the current holder, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

The battery will be supplied renewable energy from French utility Neoen’s Hornsdale wind farm. The framework used will be similar to Tesla’s Powerpack, the company’s industrial energy storage solution announced in 2015.

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In March, Musk said Tesla could get the system running in 100 days or it’s free, an audacious offer that is in the final contract. The company recently completed a 80MWh test run in California, managing to build the battery farm in 90 days.

The battery will form part of South Australia’s $550 AUD million ($380 million) energy plan, drawn up after a statewide energy blackout in the region. Some Australian politicians have accused the state government of moving too quickly to renewables, while others suggest rising demand is the cause.

“You can essentially charge up the battery packs when you have excess power when the cost of production is very low… then discharge it when the cost of power production is high, and this effectively lowers the average cost to the end customer,” said Musk.

Tesla already has the largest battery factory in the world, with the Gigafactory, so adding the biggest battery to the list of achievements seems only natural. The announcement comes amid a whirlwind of bad press for the company, its stock price plummeting to $310 from $365 at the start of the month.

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