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.
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.”