According tomedia reports, a football field-sized battery project will be put into use in Victoria, Australia next year. Neoen, the French renewable energy company, yesterday announced that it had received a contract to build 300 megawatts of batteries, which would make it one of the world’s largest battery facilities.
The battery is expected to stabilize Victoria’s power grid and prevent power outages that have plagued the region in recent summers. It also supports Victoria’s renewable energy targets to help Australia move away from coal, which is understood to remain the region’s main source of energy.
“Victoria is decisively abandoning coal-fired power generation and embracing new technologies that will unlock more renewable energy than ever before,” Victorian Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said in a statement. “
The new battery will be more than twice as big as another from South Australia’s Neoen, which will be the world’s largest lithium-ion battery when it 2017 companies go online. Like the old batteries, the new ones will use Tesla’s technology. The one in Victoria will consist of Tesla’s new Megapack, released last year. The Megapack was developed to replace fossil fuel-burning “peak” power plants that were put into operation at peak demand.
As people turn on their air conditioners in record heat during the summer, it is Victoria’s peak electricity consumption this season that has led to rotating blackouts. According to a 2019 report by the Australian Energy Market Operator, the pandemic has reduced energy demand this year, but the country may need to deal with power outages in the next 10 years. Meanwhile, Victoria’s old coal-fired generators have become less reliable, according to D’Ambrosio. In January 2019, the hottest day of the year, 200,000 homes in Melbourne and other parts of Victoria were without power because of a failure at a coal-fired power plant.
The battery, called the Victorian Big Battery, also saves residents on electricity bills. According to an independent analysis, consumers who use batteries will be charged a fee on their electricity bill, earning A$2 for every dollar they put in. According to Neoen, there is a precedent for projected cost savings: giant batteries built in South Australia in 2017 saved consumers A$150 million in the first two years of operation.