The South Australia state government is to provide a $10 million loan to help United Kingdom billionaire Sanjeev Gupta trump fellow U.S. billionaire Elon Musk and build an even bigger battery at Port Whyalla.
140 megawatt hours (MWh) storage capacity is larger than that of the current record holder, built by Elon Musk's Tesla in SA in 2017, which has a cap of 100MW/129MWh.
Simec Zen Energy, controlled by the United Kingdom executive's GFG Alliance, agreed to build a 120-megawatt lithium-ion battery at Port Augusta in South Australia, state premier Jay Weatherill said in an emailed statement Friday.
"We know that more renewable energy means cheaper power, and that's why we have increased our renewable energy target to 75 per cent and also introduced a new renewable storage target of 25 per cent", Mr Weatherill said.
Gupta's SIMEC ZEN Energy is intending to build a 120MW/140MWh - as revealed in RenewEconomy earlier this week when we wrote of Gupta's plans to build more than 1GW of solar in South Australia alone to help slash the cost of electricity for the newly acquired Whyalla steelworks.
The battery-storage industry is becoming increasingly important in places like South Australia, which has less access to traditional fossil-fuel sources like coal and gas than the rest of the nation.
Zen Energy will receive an A$10m ($7.8m) loan from South Australia's renewable technology fund to help install the battery system, with construction due to start later this year. It is hoped that renewable energy projects like these lead to a more secure supply that in turn could see prices come down.
Money for the latest battery was committed by the State Government prior to caretaker period, meaning the funding will not be contingent on the election result.
Weatherill's Australian Labor Party (ALP) is considered the favorite to win its fifth consecutive term in government - a feat that would take the party's time governing the state beyond 20 consecutive years.
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