It’s now been just over 18 months since those famous “billionaire tweets” – between Australian software pioneer Michael Cannon-Brookes and Tesla founder Elon Musk – set in motion a process that would see South Australia install the largest lithium-ion battery in the world. The Tesla big battery, officially known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve (it is located next to the 317MW Hornsdale wind farm) has defied skeptics, and even the experts, in almost every conceivable way. They said it couldn’t be done. Batteries can’t be that big. They can’t be built that quick. They won’t work. Ten months on from its installation, the Tesla big battery has emphatically proven its worth – faster, quicker, more accurate, more reliable and more flexible than even the market operator thought possible. More importantly, it has given a glimpse of the future, how a grid can be effectively managed with a very high share of wind and solar – not just faster, but also cleaner, smarter and more reliable than the dumb and ageing fossil fuel grid we now depend on, and which has become victim to endless market rorting from the industry incumbents. So much so that it may turn out to […]

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