What technology is being used for the project?
The Hornsdale Power Reserve utilises Tesla’s Powerpack lithium-ion units and associated equipment. While this is one of the largest single batteries Tesla has constructed, the Powerpack technology has also been proven on a smaller scale worldwide. It is also the same technology as is used in Tesla vehicles, meaning that it has been subject to rigorous usage over millions of hours. Please see powerpack for more detail on Tesla’s Powerpack technology.
When was the Hornsdale Power Reserve constructed?
The 100MW/129MWh construction was completed on December 1st 2017. The 50MW/64.5MWh expansion was completed in the first half of 2020.
What are the benefits of battery energy storage?
With more than 60% of electricity now generated from renewables in 2018, South Australia is a world leader in clean eneergy. Due to this high penetration of renewables, the state is also a pioneer in storage technology by supporting the Hornsdale Power Reserve, the largest lithium-ion battery in the Southern Hemisphere.
In making the transition from fossil fuels to ‘baseload’ renewables, the ability to store and dispatch energy will play a key role. Pumped hydro is an example of longer-term storage; that is, suitable for storing energy and releasing it over days or weeks. However, pumped hydro has a relatively slow ‘ramping’ time and is less suitable for providing rapid-response services to grid contingency events such as outages or heat waves (with high demand created by air-conditioning). Battery storage, such as Tesla’s lithium-ion Powerpack technology, fills this key short-term role.
What benefits will the Hornsdale Power Reserve Expansion bring?
What is inertia?
As with vehicle suspension on an uneven road, inertia services are essential for stabilising the grid when electricity supply and demand fluctuate. The expanded 150 MW Hornsdale Power Reserve has been upgraded with Tesla’s Virtual Machine Mode, which allows the advanced power inverters to emulate the existing inertia services being supplied by an ageing fleet of fossil fuel power plants. The level of inertia that would be provided by HPR could match half of the total needs of South Australia.
This Australian-first battery technology is trialling a response to supply fluctuations by automatically and rapidly charging and discharging. By imitating the behaviour of the existing fossil fuel-based services, the Hornsdale Power Reserve can arrest any grid frequency deviations through a clean and regenerative substitute.
The Australian Energy Market Operator has identified that the South Australian grid requires 6,000 megawatt-seconds (MWs) to maintain a secure operating level of inertia. It is anticipated that Hornsdale Power Reserve as expanded could provide up to 3,000MWs of inertia.
What is the life cycle of the Hornsdale Power Reserve?
How is the battery reducing costs for consumers?
- supporting more wind and solar, which are now the cheapest forms of power
- increasing competition in ancillary markets and pushing electricity prices down
- helping to avoid blackouts and the associated costs
What happens to the batteries when they reach the end of their life?
Health & Culture
Are there any health risks?
Is the project reducing air quality?
Visual observation of machinery is undertaken during site inspections in addition to daily pre-start checks which ensure all machinery has appropriate emission control devices, is in good working order and is maintained correctly.