Tesla completes construction of the world’s largest lithium ion battery in South Australia

Tesla has completed construction of its giant lithium ion battery in South Australia and is preparing to test the facility in the coming days, placing it on track to meet a 100-day deadline.

Tesla’s founder and chief executive Elon Musk vowed to build the world’s largest lithium ion battery, a 129MWh device built alongside French firm Neoen’s Hornsdale wind farm, in just 100 days back in July.

Musk offered to give the facility to the state for free if the December 1 operation deadline was not met, however it is now likely that South Australian taxpayers will spend up to AUS$50 million subsidising the battery.

Nonetheless, the SA government will have access to some of the battery’s output to provide stability services to the grid and to prevent load shedding blackouts if power supply runs low.

The battery is part of Premier Jay Weatherill’s $550 million energy plan in the state which is dependent on wind generated energy and has been challenged by a string of blackouts in recent months.

“The world’s largest lithium ion battery will be an important part of our energy mix,” said Weatherill. “It sends the clearest message that South Australia will be a leader renewable energy with battery storage.”