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The expansion of Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR), a 50MW addition making it the world’s first big battery to have an upgraded capacity of 150MW, is now complete.

The project is being delivered by Neoen, in partnership with Tesla, the South Australian Government, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). 

Louis de Sambucy, Neoen Australia’s Managing Director, said, “We are thrilled to announce the completion of the expanded 150MW Hornsdale Power Reserve less than one year after its launch. 

“This achievement was made possible through the dedication of the project team including our ElectraNet and AEMO counterparts, and with the ongoing support of our partners Tesla, the South Australian Government, the Australian Government through the CEFC and ARENA. 

“With this expansion and the commencement of grid-scale inertia testing, Neoen continues to lead the way in battery storage innovation and reinforces its contribution and commitment to South Australia’s 100 per cent renewable energy target.”

The increased storage capacity of HPR is expected to further enhance its ability to stabilise the grid, avoid price volatility in the market and reduce the risks of blackouts. 

In a world first and, in close cooperation with AEMO and ElectraNet, testing will now commence of the battery’s capacity to deliver grid-scale inertia services, an essential component of grid stability.

Ian Learmonth, CEFC CEO, said, “The Hornsdale Power Reserve is a great example of the technological innovation that has developed to help us deliver cleaner, cheaper renewable energy across a stronger, more reliable grid. 

“As the first project financing of a stand-alone large scale battery in the Australian market, it also provides a model for other investors and developers as they consider grid-related technologies, which can be delivered in a relatively tight timeframe.” 

Neoen said the benefits that HPR has unlocked for consumers are well established, with independent reviews indicating that the battery has already delivered more than $150 million in savings to the market in its first two years of operation. 

With HPR’s enhanced storage capacity and its new capabilities, the benefits to consumers are predicted to grow further thanks to the higher penetration of renewables that it will enable.

Darren Miller, ARENA CEO, said, “We are excited to see the expansion of Neoen’s Hornsdale Power Reserve reaching completion and continuing to play an important role in providing large-scale energy storage for the vast amounts of renewable energy produced in South Australia. 

“Of critical importance to ARENA is the valuable information we will gain in showing that batteries are capable of providing inertia services and fast frequency responses to the grid, paving the way for potential regulatory changes and revenue streams to incentivise further grid scale batteries to be built across Australia.”

The construction of HPR has also delivered a significant economic boost to South Australia. 

According to a report by Aurecon, the combined construction phases of the 150MW battery led to 158 jobs and generated over $300 million in economic value for the state, half of this within the Yorke and Mid North region. 

Dan van Holst Pellekaan, South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining, said, “Our $50 million Grid Scale Storage Fund is making power more affordable and secure for households, including through this project, the first large demonstration in the world of how batteries can provide system strength similar to traditional power generation. 

“This is a cutting edge service which will help address our historic system security challenges and allow us to adopt more renewable energy.”

The project’s Community Benefit Fund continues to provide opportunities for local community building initiatives and is forecast to provide over $1 million additional social and economic benefits in coming years.

Alex Wonhas, AEMO’s Chief System Design and Engineering Officer, said, “AEMO congratulates Neoen on the successful completion of the expanded Hornsdale Power Reserve. 

“We really appreciated Neoen’s collaborative approach throughout the connection process and look forward to working with Neoen to enable the optimal use of this world leading battery to support higher levels of renewable integration.”

Xavier Barbaro, Neoen’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Neoen’s Hornsdale Power Reserve remains a beacon of global innovation and collaboration, and we will continue to build on this experience to deliver new world-leading projects that integrate renewable energy and storage for the benefit of industry and consumers. 

“We look forward to continuing to deliver clean, efficient and cheaper renewable energy for all Australians.”

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