Race continues as SA mega-battery switches on

tesla-powerpack-1000At the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide last week, Elon Musk announced that Tesla’s Powerpack system is halfway through its installation.

On the one year anniversary of the big storm blackout, Musk signed a grid connection agreement with Electranet transmission and has already started up 30MW/65MWh of the full Powerpack capacity, storing electricity from Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm nearby. Although the full 100 MW/129 MWh battery system is due to come online December 1 this year, an additional 250MW of temporary diesel generators are still being brought online to avoid power shortages for the summer season.

At the time the battery contract was signed, this was the largest battery project in the world, edging out a similar Tesla system installed in Los Angeles in late 2016, but a new installation by Tesla rival AES Energy Storage features a 100 MW/400 MWh battery system that will partially displace gas peaker capacity at Alamitos, South Los Angeles, California. That facility will also feature 640 MW of gas-fired generation and will potentially expand to 300MW of battery power. Alamitos began construction in July, but the full plant may not be online for over a year.

Both projects show that at today’s capital and operating costs, batteries are displacing at least a portion of fired peaking capacity.

Read more: ABC / SBS / Renew Economy / Forbes

Image: Tesla press release

This story is taken from the 6 October 2017 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.