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Australia's Solar Battery Success

Australia's Solar Battery Success

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, December 7, 2018/Categories: sustainability, environment, climate change

               Tesla Powerpack Battery, Hornsdale, South Australia (credit: Tesla Powerpack)

Last year, this Journal posted a commentary on an exciting solar project underway in Australia. The post, Solarizing South Australia, detailed a wager Tesla's Elon Musk had made to the people of the Australian state regarding their erratic and expensive electricity supply. At the time, the state was experiencing severe power blackouts from its electricity gird and high utility rate increases. Musk told the Australians that if his solar battery Powerpack was not operating within 100 days of a contract signing, the power plant would be theirs for free. Musk won the bet and the South Australian battery has been in operation for a full year now. The results have passed even Elon Musk's hubris. According to Bloomberg:

"the result of Musk’s successful wager has helped the state stabilize the grid, avoid outages, and lower costs."

The Australian power plant is operated by the French energy company Neoen which has just announced the results of the first year's operations. South Australia saved money from previous energy expenditures by using the renewable power supplied by Tesla's Powerpack battery. According to an outside auditor quoted in the Neoen announcement:

"the Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR) exceeded all benchmarks during its first year in operation. The battery allowed annual savings in the wholesale market approaching $40 million; the HPR responded thousands of times to power frequency outside the normal operating band; and it stabilized the South Australia grid during a massive transmission failure caused by blackouts in other states.

The early success of the battery project encouraged South Australia and Tesla to initiate an even more ambitious project to utilize 50,000 individual homes as power producers for their grid. The first homes are now being solarized. A short video explains this additional project:

It has often said that "you never meet a winner who didn't bet". The South Australians and Elon Musk's bet on solar power and storage batteries. Their success is showing the world how to win by betting on renewable enegy as well.

WHB

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