Thanks to its Megapack batteries and its Autobidder platform, Tesla recently became the first party to trade flexible power in the UK’s Balancing Mechanism (BM), which uses the National Grid’s new control room API. This marked the first time that Tesla, which was able to acquire an energy generation license in June, was able to help balance supply and demand in Britain’s electricity market.
The facility that responded to the grid’s needs was comprised of six Tesla Megapack batteries that are capable of storing energy from renewable sources, which could then be utilized at times of peak consumption. The UK’s National Grid Electricity System Operator uses the BM to fine-tune supply and demand, and recently, a new computer system has allowed emerging technologies like batteries to be used in the balancing market easily, as noted in a Bloomberg report.
This new system has allowed facilities like the Tesla Megapack-powered 7.5 MW Holes Bay energy storage plant, located in Dorset and operated by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures BV and Harmony Energy Ltd, to help the country’s energy grid when needed. In its debut in the UK energy market, Tesla, using its Megapack batteries and Autobidder platform, successfully bid the Holes Bay battery into the BM — and it did so close to real-time.
In a statement to The Energyst, Roisin Quinn, the head of the UK’s national control and chief engineer at National Grid ESO, expressed her welcome for Tesla into the country’s BM. “The API will open the market to a wider range of providers and technologies, increase competition for balancing services and bring better value for consumers – and it will take us a step closer to being able to operate the grid with zero carbon by 2025,” Quinn said.
Tesla’s entry into the UK energy market holds a lot of potential for the electric car maker. So far, Tesla’s Energy business has largely taken a backseat to the company’s electric car business. Yet during the second-quarter earnings call, CEO Elon Musk was quick to point out that the company’s energy initiatives are just as important as its EV programs. Musk even mentioned that ultimately, Tesla Energy has more room for growth simply because the utility sector is far larger than the vehicle sector.
Musk also explained how energy storage and power generation are key parts in the transition towards sustainability. “There’s like three elements of the sustainable energy future. Wind and solar sustainable energy generation, battery storage, and electric transport. Those three things. And the mission of Tesla is to accelerate sustainable energy. So that kind of says enough,” Musk said.