Tesla’s South Australian 100MW Battery Project Readies For Testing

Tesla Powerpack battery system

All Tesla Powerpack units for the world’s largest lithium-ion battery project in South Australia’s Mid-North have been fully installed says the Weatherill Government.

The 100MW/129MWh installation, connected to the Hornsdale wind farm, will undergo a testing phase after being energised in the coming days.

The testing phase will ensure the battery is optimised and meets Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and South Australian Government requirements. During this period, the battery will be providing “system security services” to the state.

South Australian Premier Jay Wetherill says the project sends the “clearest message” that SA will be a leader in renewable energy with battery storage.

“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,” stated Premier Weatherill. “An enormous amount of work has gone in to delivering this project in such a short time, and I look forward to visiting Jamestown next week to personally thank those who have worked on this project.”

The battery system covers around a hectare of land at the Hornsdale Wind Farm site, which is located approximately 15 kilometres north of Jamestown.

There’s been a great deal of interest in the project and many questions about the capabilities of the “big battery”. In July this year,  RenewEconomy’s Giles Parkinson published a useful explainer on what it will and won’t do.

Significant progress was made on the facility in just the last few weeks. In a letter to shareholders early this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at that point, more than 80% of the Powerpacks were in place.

The Hornsdale Power Reserve battery project will be officially opened next week in an event that will be attended by the Premier and representatives from Neoen, Tesla and Consolidated Power Projects.

Tesla had and will continue to have a lot riding on this project being successful – and not just the “100-days-or-its-free” commitment.

“Energy storage enables a more efficient, cost-effective and sustainable way to build and manage utility grid scale applications, and we expect this project to lay the groundwork for many similar projects, but at an even larger scale, in the years ahead,” said Mr. Musk.

It’s certainly turning out to be yet another busy month for Tesla’s CEO (and no doubt, everyone who works at the company). Late last week, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s electric truck.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.


  1. Patrick Comerford says

    Jay Weatherill provides an example of where our energy policy and decision making should be going. Instead we are being sold a pup with Turnbulls NEG which represents the worst kind of decision making by conflicted “experts” and bent politicians.

  2. After listening to the detritus coming from FRYDENBERG’s mouth on ABC 891 this morning, it’s going to be a pleasure to see the battery online in the lead up to seasonal eastern seaboard blackouts. The only thing more satisfying will be watching the gas curve on NEMWATCH pulled down even lower, LOL.

  3. If Elon Musk has any sort of a conscience, he will disable the battery system in South Australia, and withdraw completely from South Australia.

    Any technology company present in South Australia, should now be boycotted.

    See http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-29/bill-proposes-to-put-tech-giants-above-the-law/9203876 where the only state law of South Australia, that will apply to technology companies, will be the Aboriginal Heritage Act – no industrial relations laws, and the technology company official will be free to rape and murder whoever they want, including children not even old enough to talk.

    The state premier of South Australia has apparently turned South Australia into a state of terrorism, with technology companies exempt from all state laws apart from the Aboriginal Heritage Act.

  4. Bret Busby says

    I note that, apparently due to public backlash, the SA government has reportedly decided against allowing technology companies to breach all SA laws (apart from the Aboriginal Heritage Act).

  5. Bret Busby says

    Ah, and, in the latest (ABC online) news, we have, at
    as viewed at 1450WST on 02 December;

    The battery won’t stop all blackouts

    While the battery proved its worth on the final day of spring, some of its closest neighbours spent the first day of summer without power.

    Widespread thunderstorms swept across the state overnight, with lightning strikes damaging some powerlines, including in the Jamestown area.

    Northern Areas Council mayor Denis Clark said a number of nearby farmers were left blacked out.

    “They were wondering if the Premier would supply some long extension cords so they could tap into the battery to get some power,” he said.

    Bev Lovell, who lives near the windfarm and battery site, said a number of recent blackouts had left her angry and frustrated.

    “I look out our bathroom window and I look at wind turbines,” she said.

    “How are we meant to be able to communicate with the outside world when we can’t charge our phones and we can’t even run our fridges and freezers and keep our things running like normal people would?”

    The Premier said no type of power generator could prevent the sorts of blackouts caused by lightning damage to power lines and other infrastructure.

    “We had 250,000 lightning strikes — an extraordinary number,” he said. “It’s amazing we don’t have more lines down and we don’t have more people out of power.”

    And, from me, in relation to another article on this website…

    All the more reason for the feral parliament to provide, via the CEFC, interest-free finance for householders to install and use domestic rooftop photovoltaic + wind electricity generation + battery storage systems (systems with all three components), to contain and manage the increasing demand for electricity, especially during the hotter climatic temperatures, and, the daily humps/peaks in demand.

    After all, isn’t the feral Loony Neanderthal Parasites government claiming to be pushing for electricity supply security and stability, which “domestic rooftop photovoltaic + wind electricity generation + battery storage systems (systems with all three components)” for households, would provide?

  6. Bret Busby says

    Since posting my most recent previous post above, after a bit more research, I have found that small scale (less than the MW of utility scale) wind turbines apparently cost about $6,000 per kW of output capacity, compared with current domestic rooftop photovoltaic systems pricing of about $800-$1,000 per kW of output capacity, so, perhaps, the inclusion of wind electricity generation, is not so feasible, except in special cases, and the money, generally, would be better spent on domestic rooftop photovoltaic systems including battery storage (configured to act as immediate backup supply in the event of grid electricity supply failure), for electricity supply security and stability (and, for the benefit of the environment and household and governmental finances).

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