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Tesla big battery ramps up, AEMO seems happy so far

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The Australian Energy Market Operator seems well pleased with the performance of the Tesla big battery so far, as trials ramped up over the weekend in preparation for the formal opening expected later this week.

As we reported on Friday, the first charging and discharging occurred late last week after the final installations of the 100MW/129MWh lithium-ion array – the world’s largest – was completed on schedule.

On Saturday, that testing at the battery – located next to Neoen’s 315MW Hornsdale wind farm in South Australia – ramped up significantly, from 0.2MW to 30MW, and for both charging and discharging, the first time such a thing has been seen on the Australian energy market.

(Yes, it happens with pumped hydro, but those tend to be long-term processes – well, hours at least – and have not created the need for such new systems on the market).

This is what it will look like, however, a mixture of charging (load in red), and discharging (generation in blue). Graph courtesy of Dylan McConnell at Climate and Energy College.

HPR

AEMO seemed happy enough with progress so far: “Congrats to all who collaborated to achieve this in such short term,” it tweeted, noting the first charging (red) at 8.36am, and discharging at around 4pm.

If that was done on a weekday it might just fit in with the general pattern of operation: charge when there’s lots of excess renewable generation, and discharge (generate) at times of peak demand. Of course, some capacity will be reserved for fast-response to any grid fluctuations or major trauma.

And there was one other person pretty happy with it too – South Australia energy minister Tom Koutsantonis, who responded to the AEMO tweet with this observation:

“Today, we lead not just the nation, but the world. Some said it couldn’t be done, some even said it shouldn’t be done, they’ll all wrong.”

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  • juxx0r

    Tom is right. When are we building the next one?

    • Joe

      Where will Scotty ‘Lump of Coal’ Morrison be when the formal launch happens…perhaps stroking his ‘Big Lump of Coal’ in Canberra?

      • juxx0r

        i have heard he only has a small lump of coal

    • Mike Dill

      I thought that was going to be another in western SA at Whyalla

    • Martin Stawo

      As soon as we figure out how to plug the funding gap.
      http://reneweconomy.com.au/tesla-big-battery-great-news-can-make-money-52662/
      No word yet on the total project cost, estimate is 2.4M/MW. Guess who will pay for that?

  • George Michaelson

    What’s the expected charge-discharge model? I think it will have two faces: spot operations when it’s used to opportunitistically cap off peaking prices, and soak, when it actually goes into a longer discharge, earning revenue. In spot, it would drive gas to bid low because they miss market by waiting for a spike so have to accept lower bid price. In soak, it goes further to reduce held energy stock so it can re-buy surplus in a cheaper supply window. It earns in both. I’m also guessing the split between its private income capacity and its contracted function to government will show different bid models because they satisfy different goals.

    • neroden

      Two different models: one for the commercial side (everyday price-arbitrage operations) and one for the government side (contracted for action in emergencies). The government basically gets the “top and bottom” of the battery capacity.

    • Martin Stawo

      Currently in PASA as 50MW generator ( where the other 50MW gone?) and 30MW load.