The world’s biggest battery will cost the South Australian taxpayer much less than a $150 million fund set aside for renewable energy, but the state government isn’t saying how much.
On Saturday, Premier Jay Weatherill poured cold water on industry suggestions published by Forbes, that the 100MW battery farm, half the size of Adelaide Oval, would cost $200 million.
The world’s biggest battery concept on Friday propelled SA onto the world stage, with the project making headlines around the world.
The Premier told reporters the project would fall well within the $150 million set aside for renewable energy alternatives, but he refused to reveal the exact cost to taxpayers, despite approval to do so by the farm’s builder Tesla.
He said the third partner in the project, French company Neoen, had not given its approval.
But Mr Weatherill said the cost was much less than the $200 million estimate published in US media because Tesla had submitted a “very good deal” to secure the world-first contract.
“The reason you get a good deal when you are the first mover is because obviously they wanted to win the contract and there were 91 bidders,’’ the Premier said.
The battery farm, enough to power 30,000 homes will be connected to the 99-turbine Hornsdale Wind Farm at Jamestown, which is owned by Neoen.
Mr Weatherill also repeated that the Tesla deal included a 100-day build or its free promise, which will begin in the coming weeks when the deal is signed off by the Australian Energy Market Operator.
“This has put SA on the global stage and when billionaire investors like Tesla’s Elon Musk decide to invest here other people pay attention to that based on what he says,’’ he said..
Mr Weatherill will travel to Whyalla on Sunday to celebrate with local residents the purchase of the steelworks by UK-based billionaire Sanjeev Gupta.
He said he would also visit locals in Jamestown to discuss the tourism potential of SA’s newest attraction.
“Jamestown will be put on the map as the home to the “world’s biggest battery,’’ Mr Weatherill said.
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