Hornsdale Wind Farm

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Hornsdale Wind Farm
LocationSouth Australia
Coordinates33°03′29″S 138°32′38″E / 33.058°S 138.544°E / -33.058; 138.544Coordinates: 33°03′29″S 138°32′38″E / 33.058°S 138.544°E / -33.058; 138.544
Construction costA$800 million
Owner(s)Neoen Australia
Reactor supplierSiemens
Wind farm
Hub height92.5 metres (303 ft)[1]
Rotor diameter110 metres (360 ft)
Power generation
Units operational99
Nameplate capacity315 MW
Storage capacity129 MW·h
External links
WebsiteOfficial website

The Hornsdale Wind Farm is an electricity generator in the locality of Hornsdale in the south-west of the Narien Range, north of Jamestown, South Australia. It consists of 99 wind turbines with a generation capacity of 315 megawatts (422,000 hp)[2]. The plant is owned and operated by Neoen, a French renewable energy company. The infobox includes storage capacity from adjoining Hornsdale Power Reserve.

The electricity generated by Hornsdale Wind Farm is contracted to be supplied to the Australian Capital Territory.[3]


The "Balance of Plant" civil engineering and site works for the wind farm was performed by Catcon for all three stages of construction.[4] The wind turbine generators were imported from Denmark, and the towers from Vietnam.[5] They were commissioned by Siemens Australia.[6] Before the whole wind farm was commissioned, Hornsdale was generating 86 MW immediately prior to the 2016 South Australian blackout in September 2016.[7]


Two of the towers feature paintings by people from the indigenous peoples of the region. Jessica Turner is a Nukunu woman whose artwork represents the story of the serpent's role in forming aspects of the landscape, particularly waterholes. Chris Angrave and Louise Brown are Ngadjuri people who depicted how the Mungiura were found in hilly country, peering over the top of windbreaks before a storm, and blowing hard, which caused a whirly wind.[8]

Hornsdale Power Reserve[edit]

Diagram of power and duration of the two sections of battery

Tesla, Inc. won the contract and built the Hornsdale Power Reserve adjacent to the Hornsdale wind farm (33°5′08.77″S 138°31′06.37″E / 33.0857694°S 138.5184361°E / -33.0857694; 138.5184361), for a cost to Tesla of about US$50 million.[9][10] It is promoted as the largest lithium-ion battery in the world.[11] Samsung 21700-size cells are used.[12]

It is owned[13] and operated by Neoen, with the government having the right to call on the stored power under certain circumstances.[14] It provides a total of 129 megawatt-hours (460 GJ) of storage capable of discharge at 100 megawatts (130,000 hp) into the power grid, which is contractually divided into two parts.[15]

70 MW running for 10 minutes (11.7 MWh) is contracted to the government to provide stability to the grid (grid services)[16] and prevent load-shedding blackouts[17][18] while other generators are started in the event of sudden drops in wind or other network issues. This service has reduced the cost of grid services to the Australian Energy Market Operator by 90%.[19]

30 MW for 3 hours (90 MWh) is used by Neoen for load management to store energy when prices are low and sell it when demand is high.[20]

The battery construction was completed and testing began on 25 November 2017. It was connected to the grid on 1 December 2017.[21] This easily beat Elon Musk's wager of "100 days from contract signature",[10][22][23] which started when a grid connection agreement was signed with ElectraNet on 29 September 2017.[9] Tesla had already begun construction, and some units were already operational by the time the contract was signed.[17]

On 14 December 2017, at 1:58:59 am, the HPR reacted when unit A3 at Loy Yang Power Station tripped. As its generators spun down over the next 30 seconds, the loss of its 560 MW of base power caused a dip in the system frequency. By 1:59:19, the frequency had fallen to 49.8 Hz, and triggered HPR's response, injecting 7.3 MW into the grid and effectively helping to stabilise the system before the Gladstone Power Station was able to respond at 1:59:27. This synchronverter reaction is a built-in feature, but had not previously been effectively demonstrated[16]

During two days in January 2018 when the wholesale spot price for electricity in South Australia rose due to hot weather, the battery made its owners an estimated A$1,000,000 (US$800,000) as they sold power from the battery to the grid for a price of around A$14,000/MWh.[24] Based on the first six months of operation, the reserve is estimated to earn about A$18 million per year.[25] (This is a third-party estimate, based on spot energy prices; it is possible that the HPR has contracted to provide power at a lower price, in exchange for a more certain income stream.)

After six months of operation, the Hornsdale Power Reserve was responsible for 55% of frequency control and ancillary services in South Australia.[19] By the end of 2018, it was estimated that the Power Reserved had saved A$40 million in costs, most in eliminating the need for a 35 MW Frequency Control Ancillary Service.[26]


  1. ^ "Hornsdale Wind Farm". Siemens Australia. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Generation information page". Australian Energy Market Operator. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Neoen – Hornsdale Wind Farm". Investment Attraction South Australia, Department of State Development, Government of South Australia. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Hornsdale Wind Farm". Catcon. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Hornsdale Wind Farm Construction Update Stage 3 Issue No 3". May 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Hornsdale Wind Farm". Siemens Australia. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  7. ^ Washington, David; Siebert, Bension (5 October 2016). "Blackout report leaves renewables debate dangling in the breeze". InDaily. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Hornsdale's arty installation". The Northern Argus. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Tesla completes its giant Australian Powerpack battery on time". Engadget. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  10. ^ a b Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (9 March 2017). "Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ "Hornsdale Power Reserve". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  12. ^ Kanematsu, Yuichiro (30 September 2017). "Tesla taps Samsung cells for huge Aussie energy-storage facility". Nikkei Asian Review. Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Hornsdale power reserve: about us". Retrieved 12 April 2018. Neoen, the owner of the Hornsdale Power Reserve,...
  14. ^ Harmsen, Nick (24 November 2017). "Elon Musk's giant lithium ion battery completed by Tesla in SA's Mid North". ABC News.
  15. ^ "Initial operation of the Hornsdale Power Reserve Battery Energy Storage System" (PDF). Australian Energy Market Operator. 5 April 2018.
  16. ^ a b Parkinson, Giles (19 December 2017). "Tesla big battery outsmarts lumbering coal units after Loy Yang trips". RenewEconomy. Retrieved 19 December 2017. But in reality, the response from the Tesla big battery was even quicker than that – in milliseconds – but too fast for the AEMO data to record. Importantly, by the time that the contracted Gladstone coal unit had gotten out of bed and put its socks on so it can inject more into the grid – it is paid to respond in six seconds – the fall in frequency had already been arrested and was being reversed.
  17. ^ a b Harmsen, Nick (29 September 2017). "Elon Musk: Tesla reaches halfway point of construction on 'world's biggest' battery". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  18. ^ Parkinson, Giles (14 December 2017). "Tesla big battery goes the full discharge – 100MW – for first time". RenewEconomy. RenewEconomy. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  19. ^ a b Lambert, Fred. "Tesla's giant battery in Australia reduced grid service cost by 90%". electrek. 9to5 network. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Explainer: What the Tesla big battery can and cannot do". RenewEconomy. 10 July 2017. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  21. ^ "Tesla's Giant Battery Farm Ready to Flick the Switch". The urban developer. 29 November 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  22. ^ Scopelianos, Sarah; Fedorowytsch, Tom; Garcia, Sara (7 July 2017). "Elon Musk's Tesla to build world's biggest lithium ion battery to secure power for South Australia". ABC News. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  23. ^ Harmsen, Nick (7 July 2017). "What is Tesla's SA battery and how will it be used?". ABC News. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  24. ^ Leary, Kyree (24 January 2018). "Tesla's Australian Battery Shows It Can Also Make Huge Profits". futurism.com. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  25. ^ Parker, Steven; Mountain, Bruce (3 August 2018). "Tesla big battery: It earned a lot more money in second quarter". RenewEconony.
  26. ^ Lambert, Fred (6 December 2018). "Tesla's giant battery saved $40 million during its first year, report says". Electrek. Retrieved 4 January 2019.

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