Tesla's Australian battery project nabs praise from market operator
- Tesla's giant 100 MW / 129 MWh battery in Australia is performing well and is valuable to the grid, according to a new report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
- A report on the first four months of operations at the Hornsdale Power Reserve Battery Energy Storage System (HPR) concludes the battery "can provide a range of valuable power system services,
including rapid, accurate frequency response and control."
- Australia is increasingly turning to large batteries to help manage electric grids and utilize more solar energy, with more such projects in the country's pipeline.
The report on Tesla's battery comes as Australia increasingly looks to battery storage to meet grid needs. Earlier this year in Brisbane, renewable energy firm Lyon Group announced plans for a 100 MW/400 MWh battery storage system, as well.
IMEC ZEN Energy plans to develop a 120 MW / 140 MWh energy storage project in Port Augusta, South Australia, with the help of a roughly $8 million loan from state government.
And there are proposals for large virtual power plants that would connect distributed residential storage, including a Tesla proposal to connect 50,000 homes.
AEMO's report shows that the projects can provide a variety of market services, and that the technology in place functions well. HPR is located in South Australia and is rated at 100 MW discharge and 80 MW charge, with a storage capacity of 129 MWh. HPR shares the same 275 kV network connection point as the 300 MW Hornsdale Wind Farm.
According to the report, HPR provides a range of services under commercial agreements between the government of South Australia, Tesla and NEOEN, the operator of the Hornsdale Wind Farm. The report says that "under normal conditions," the NEOEN has access to 30 MW of the battery’s discharge capacity for commercial operation in the National Electricity Market.
"Of the battery’s total 129 MWh energy storage capacity, 119 MWh may be used for this mode of operation," the report says. "The remaining 70 MW of battery discharge capacity is reserved for power system reliability purposes."
The report stresses that the results are specific to the South Australian project.
"Where other large batteries are established under government incentive schemes, there could be a role for a more prescriptive provision of system security services, to maximise the benefits to the power system such devices can provide," AEMO concluded.
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