Australia constructing giant 300-megawatt battery

Power lines in Victoria, Australia [credit: Wikipedia]

Come the next potential blackout situation, the battery could give Victorians up to an hour to find a way out of trouble. But making the wind blow harder or the sun shine more won’t be among their options, of course.
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Australia is poised to construct one of the world’s largest batteries, using Tesla’s technology for lithium-ion batteries, reports TechXplore.

The football-field sized battery will provide up to 300 megawatts of power output and 450 megawatts-hours of storage in a country that has been struggling to meet energy demands during skyrocketing power usage triggered by record-breaking temperatures.

Last year, Australia suffered its hottest and driest year ever, with temperatures topping 121 degrees Fahrenheit last December.

The battery, known as the Victorian Big Battery Megapack, will be located in the state of Victoria, Australia’s second most populous region.

The move to a modernized power generator and storage system is seen as critical by Australian officials to meet growing demands that are overwhelming older power grids that suffered numerous blackouts in recent years.

Victoria relies heavily on coal-powered plants. The state hopes to derive 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by the end of this decade.

“Victoria is taking a decisive step away from coal-fired power and embracing new technologies that will unlock more renewable energy than ever before,” said Victoria’s minister for energy, environment and climate change, Lily D’Ambrosio.

The French company Neoen SA and Tesla will undertake the project.

Neoen previously held the title as owner of the world’s largest battery with its Hornsdale 315 megawatt facility, which included 99 wind turbines. It was surpassed by the Gateway Energy Storage plant in San Diego last summer.

The new Victoria facility will be three times the size of Neoen’s Hornsdale plant.

The main objective of the new plant is to provide a more stable energy flow to meet growing power needs and halt blackouts.

“We know in the time of climate change, our summers are getting far hotter and much longer, so that means there is increased strain on our thermal generators,” D’Ambrosio said. “This is part of our plan to deliver security, reliability and affordable power.”

The battery is expected to have the capacity to power half a million homes for one hour.

Victoria officials say consumers should expect to see a return of $2 for every dollar invested in the project. The state will pay Neoem $84 million for the power grid.

The project is ideally situated in a region flush with wind farms and solar installations.

Full report here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

November 8, 2020 at 03:24AM

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