An approximately $1 billion solar energy project has come up in Australia in collaboration with Japanese funds and this is all set to become the largest power storage facility in the world. A 250-megawatt plant in the state of South Australia has been established and this will use a 100MW lithium-ion battery storage system. The storage capacity will be on par with a wind farm battery system from Tesla in Australia, now the largest of its kind on the planet. Power generated at the forthcoming plant will be sold to local utilities.
The Tokyo-based firm, known as JERA, a 50-50 energy joint venture of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings and Chubu Electric Power, has also signed on. It will collaborate with Fluence, a U.S. energy storage technology company under Germany's Siemens and the Australian renewable-energy outfit Lyon Group. The trio will construct three solar power plants that will together be able to generate 550MW when all are online by the end of 2019. JERA is expected to contribute more than 10 billion yen ($91.4 million) to the project.
Through this massive investment, JERA will acquire the necessary know-how in renewable energy, like the best volume and timing for discharging electricity to minimize degradation of battery cells and maximize earnings. Once the cost of producing storage batteries falls, similar operations would then expand to Japan and elsewhere in the world.
The Japanese government is working with the aim to raise the share of renewable in the power generation market. Depending on the weather, these projects at times produce surplus electricity that is never used.