Back in 2017, Elon Musk’s Tesla big battery at Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia was considered a revolutionary development in the quest for an alternative, more resilient energy system. Five years on, Australian big batteries are booming with the next five years set to see quadruple growth in the large-scale storage solution.
Following a statewide blackout in South Australia in 2016, Australian tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes challenged Musk to build the biggest grid-scale battery in the world, which the South African-born American accepted. The Hornsdale battery began operating in late 2017.
Large-scale batteries have since become more widespread, with the Clean Energy Council stating there are now 15 such projects across Australia, generating more than 800MW of power. The largest is the 300MW big battery in Victoria, owned by Neoen, the operator of the Tesla big battery in South Australia (pictured above).
Victoria is the leading state in the National Electricity Market for capacity, at 376MW, followed by South Australia and Queensland. However, by 2027, Queensland is expected to become Australia’s largest storage state with 1.8GW.
“During the next five years, an additional 18 projects will be introduced that are currently either under construction, reached financial close or have development approval,” says the Clean Energy Council.
“This is expected to bring an additional 3.6GW – a 351 per cent increase – of power to the market.”
Edify Energy recently signed off on what the company claims will be the largest grid-forming battery in Australia, a $200 million 150MW/300MWh project in the NSW Riverina region that is backed by offtake agreements with Shell and EnergyAustralia.
According to the Australian Energy Market Operator’s recently released Integrated System Plan, 47GW of new battery and hydro storage is predicted in Australia by 2050, further stabilising the future of the grid.