Tesla batteries deal another blow to Australia gas plants with record 150MW output

Tesla's 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack system in Jamestown, Australia. (Credit: Tesla)

Tesla Energy’s Powerpack farm in South Australia recently set a new world record by delivering 150 MW of power to the region’s grid. The recently upgraded battery was able to accomplish this feat despite the installation still undergoing complex tests following its expansion from a 100MW/129MWh to a 150MW/194MWh system.

The battery farm, which is officially known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve, fed 150MW to the South Australian grid on Tuesday, July 21 at around 2:21 p.m. local time. This represented the maximum output of the recently upgraded battery system, whose storage and capacity have been raised by 50%, as per a statement from Neoen, the Powerpack farm’s owners.

By expanding the installation to a world leading 150MW/194MWh, the Tesla big battery would be able to start offering new services to customers in the area. Among these is the delivery of the synthetic inertia and “grid forming” capabilities, services that were once dominated by gas or diesel generators in the local grid, as per a report from Renew Economy.

The brief display of power from the upgraded Tesla Powerpack farm during its ongoing tests is almost symbolic, as the facility showed that it does have the potential to disrupt the region’s energy sector even further. Even before its 50% upgrade, the Hornsdale Power Reserve has already made a huge impact in the region by improving grid stability and security, preventing outages, and lowering costs for consumers. Even Neoen, which owns the facility, has benefited from the Powerpack farm’s operations.

Just this June, a report from Aurecon emerged stating that the Tesla big battery had reduced costs in South Australia’s main grid by AU$116 million through Contingency and Regulation Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS). Largely due to the battery, average FCAS costs in the region were reduced by over 90%, from AU$470 per MWh to just AU$40 per MWh. This dealt a big blow to the region’s gas cartel.

With its upgraded setup, the disruption of the Hornsdale Power Reserve may just be beginning. Its success, after all, has inspired the buildout of a number of other prominent battery systems in the country, including a Tesla Megapack system in Victoria that’s expected to have a size of 600MW/1200MWh. The Powerpack farm has also earned near universal acclaim, with the battery being praised by energy companies, analysts, as well as the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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