British billionaire to beat Tesla with world's biggest battery in South Australia

Updated 2018-03-16 15:41:01 Xinhua

British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta has revealed plans to build the world's biggest lithium ion battery in South Australia (SA).

The planned 120 megawatts (MW)/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.

The battery will power solar farm to be built at the site of a former steelworks near Adelaide which Gupta's Liberty House bought in 2017.

Gupta secured a 10 million Australian dollars loan from the SA government through its Renewable Technology Fund for the project which is expected to create 100 construction jobs.

SA Premier Jay Weatherill said that the battery would also have benefits for the broader community.

"We know that more renewable energy means cheaper power, and that's why we have increased our renewable energy target to 75 percent and also introduced a new renewable storage target of 25 percent," Weatherill told reporters in Adelaide on Friday.

"These targets will accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewables and lower bills for South Australians."

Since its completion in December last year, Tesla's SA battery has surpassed expectations, regularly supplementing the state's power grid to prevent widespread blackouts.

The announcement of Gupta's project came on the final day of campaigning ahead of Saturday's SA state election, a campaign where renewable energy has been a key issue.

Funds for the project were committed by Weatherill's government prior to the government going into a caretaker period in the lead-up to the election, meaning the project will go ahead regardless of Saturday's 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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