Tesla Megapack targets utilities with massive 3MWh plug ‘n play battery

Tesla Megapack. | Image: Tesla

After Tesla’s worldwide success with Powerpack battery grid installations, the company has now designed and engineered a new battery product called the Megapack made specifically for utility-scale projects. This larger battery pack has a 60% increase in energy density over the current Powerpack and boasts up to 3 megawatt hours (MWhs) of storage capacity per pack as a result. Megapacks also come completely assembled from Tesla’s factory for quick installation, altogether providing customers with savings in both cost and time.

Battery storage grids are important in the global energy grid’s transition to sustainable energy sources, and the Megapack’s massive capacity and scalability will make it an ideal choice for regions looking for a simple and cost-efficient ways to convert or support their current infrastructure. “Using Megapack, Tesla can deploy an emissions-free 250 MW, 1 GWh power plant in less than three months on a three-acre footprint – four times faster than a traditional fossil fuel power plant of that size,” Tesla stated in their announcement.

Along with an AC interface, the Megapack also includes DC-connectivity for solar grids, essentially giving it plug ‘n play capability for any type of power grid interface. Tesla’s Megapack product page further describes its “All-in-One-System” design:

“Every Megapack arrives pre-assembled and pre-tested in one enclosure from our Gigafactory—including battery modules, bi-directional inverters, a thermal management system, an AC main breaker and controls. No assembly is required, all you need to do is connect Megapack’s AC output to your site wiring,” Tesla detailed.

Tesla’s Megapack as a utility grid. | Image: Tesla

Tesla’s latest product is also very competitive compared to other utility power storage options available on the market. Thanks to its high-density energy storage capacity and modularity, the Megapack needs 40% less space and 10x fewer parts than comparable systems, according to data published on Tesla’s product page. This will bode well for areas with space constraints or simply desiring a smaller footprint for energy storage.

The Megapack will be utilized for an upcoming energy storage project hosted by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) in Moss Landing, California once final approval from the state’s Public Utilities Commission is received. Under the project, Tesla’s battery-powered utility installation will store 182.5 megawatts of excess solar or wind energy to provide supplemental power during peak grid times for up to 4 hours at a time. It will take the place of natural gas “peaker” power plants, offering a much more efficient and clean alternative for Moss Landing’s energy needs.

The original Tesla Powerwall was launched in 2015 and has since been used for storage projects worldwide by scaling its 210 kWh capacity. In the UK, one of the country’s largest bus operators is using Powerpacks to charge its fleet of 9 all-electric buses and has received positive reviews from both riders and drivers. The lack of diesel fumes is both a notable and welcome change. In South Australia, Tesla’s Hornsdale Powerpack installation ultimately became the largest lithium-ion battery in the world. Interestingly enough, Volkswagen’s Electrify America also recently decided to purchase and install Tesla Powerpacks at over 100 of its charging stations, totaling a capacity of 350 kWh with 210 kW rapid charging compatibility.

Tesla’s full Megapack product announcement is provided below:

Introducing Megapack: Utility-Scale Energy Storage

Less than two years ago, Tesla built and installed the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in Hornsdale, South Australia, using Tesla Powerpack batteries. Since then, the facility saved nearly $40 million in its first year alone and helped to stabilize and balance the region’s unreliable grid.

Battery storage is transforming the global electric grid and is an increasingly important element of the world’s transition to sustainable energy. To match global demand for massive battery storage projects like Hornsdale, Tesla designed and engineered a new battery product specifically for utility-scale projects: Megapack.

Megapack significantly reduces the complexity of large-scale battery storage and provides an easy installation and connection process. Each Megapack comes from the factory fully-assembled with up to 3 megawatt hours (MWhs) of storage and 1.5 MW of inverter capacity, building on Powerpack’s engineering with an AC interface and 60% increase in energy density to achieve significant cost and time savings compared to other battery systems and traditional fossil fuel power plants. Using Megapack, Tesla can deploy an emissions-free 250 MW, 1 GWh power plant in less than three months on a three-acre footprint – four times faster than a traditional fossil fuel power plant of that size. Megapack can also be DC-connected directly to solar, creating seamless renewable energy plants.

For utility-size installations like the upcoming Moss Landing project in California with PG&E, Megapack will act as a sustainable alternative to natural gas “peaker” power plants. Peaker power plants fire up whenever the local utility grid can’t provide enough power to meet peak demand. They cost millions of dollars per day to operate and are some of the least efficient and dirtiest plants on the grid. Instead, a Megapack installation can use stored excess solar or wind energy to support the grid’s peak loads.

Tesla developed its own software in-house to monitor, control and monetize Megapack installations. All Megapacks connect to Powerhub, an advanced monitoring and control platform for large-scale utility projects and microgrids, and can also integrate with Autobidder, Tesla’s machine-learning platform for automated energy trading. Tesla customers have already used Autobidder to dispatch more than 100 GWh of energy in global electricity markets. And, just as Tesla vehicles benefit from continued software updates over time, Megapack continues to improve through a combination of over-the-air and server-based software updates.

As the world’s transition to sustainable energy continues to accelerate, the market for advanced battery storage solutions is growing rapidly. In the past year alone, we have installed more than 1 GWh of global storage capacity with our current storage products, Powerwall and Powerpack, bringing our total global footprint to more than 2 GWh of cumulative storage. With Megapack, this number will continue to accelerate exponentially in the coming years.

To learn more about Megapack and how our energy storage solutions for utilities and commercial customers are accelerating the transition to sustainable energy, visit tesla.com/megapack.

"Dacia J. Ferris : @https://twitter.com/princessdeixa Accidental computer geek, fascinated by most history and the multiplanetary future on its way. Quite keen on the democratization of space. | It's pronounced day-sha, but I answer to almost any variation thereof.."
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