After Tesla showed to the world that a 129 megawatt-hour grid storage battery can be build and install in less than 100 days. Hyundai says it intends to build and install a battery that will be 50% larger than the South Australia facility near Ulsan on the southeast coast of South Korea. It is scheduled for completion in February of next year.
Musk has set a benchmark on how quickly you can install and commission a battery of any size that coupled with falling costs are making battery a compelling mainstream option for energy-storage applications in many areas around the world, and projects even bigger than Tesla’s are now under construction.
The principal cost benefit of battery storage is not so much the price of the battery as it is the savings realized from not building and operating so-called “peaker” plants that operate only a few hours a day. Not needing to buy fuel for a peaker plant that has a useful life of 30 years or more will add up to a lot of money in the long run, making the upfront cost of a battery backup system easier to swallow.
The news here is not that Hyundai will be able to claim it has built the largest storage battery in history — at least for a few months — it is that utility grids are rapidly adapting to renewable energy technology.