South Australia's $38m Tesla battery site on track to charge in 2019, giving Infigen more opportunities

South Australia's $38m Tesla battery site on track to charge in 2019, giving Infigen more opportunities

A $38 million Tesla battery plant in South Australia is on track to be up and running by May.

The plant will have 52MWh of storage and is being built by Infigen Energy at the Lake Bonney wind farm, about 30 minutes from Mount Gambier.

Infigen general manager of development Igor Brandao said earthworks were underway at the site, making way for the arrival of the Tesla batteries.

"It is still a very new thing, batteries, and particularly grid-connected batteries," he said.

"This project has had its challenges but it's actually travelling very well at the moment."

The project will be one of the biggest battery sites in South Australia, behind Jamestown's battery plant in the mid-north — built in less than 100 days after a promise by Tesla boss Elon Musk — that can hold about double the amount of power as the Lake Bonney site.

"It's comprised of 296 battery packs and 48 converters," Mr Brandao said.

"These are all containers that will be sitting on a bench and connected to the substation which is where the Lake Bonney wind farm connects into."

The batteries have arrived at a port in Melbourne and over the coming months will make the five-hour drive to the site.

The plant is expected to last 10 to 15 years.

"We expect the battery project to be completed in the second quarter of next calendar year," Mr Brandao said.

Renewable power future for South Australia

South Australia experienced a statewide blackout in September 2016 and ongoing power supply concerns have prompted some suppliers to invest in battery power.

Infigen Energy currently has 112 wind turbines in operation at the Lake Bonney site — 124 were planned but the company is not moving ahead with the option to add more turbines at this time.

Mr Brandao said the battery system was part of the company's wider plans.

"It will form part of our delivery of our retail strategy," he said.

"We have some customers in South Australia and most of them are commercial and industrial customers.

"The batteries will provide us with firm capabilities to actually allow us to secure additional supply contracts within the South Australian market."

The batteries will connect into the national electricity market at the same point as the Lake Bonney wind farm, but will operate as an independent asset.

They will charge and discharge directly to and from the grid by participating in buying or selling from the electricity pool market.

 

SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-15/sa-tesla-battery-site-on-track-to...