The largest battery in the world was completed by Tesla late last year. The 100 MW/ 129 MWh Powerpack project was completed in South Australia. The battery went live on 1st December 2017 and has proved itself as a worthy investment in a matter of days.
Tesla got involved in the energy sector in Australia after widespread power failures due to severe weather in the summer of 2016. Tesla boasted that they could fix the energy problems within 100 days or the solution would be free. The government accepted the proposal and Tesla delivered before schedule.
Tesla won the contract to build the battery along with French energy company Neoen’s nearby wind farm. The unique system allows switching between charging and discharging in a matter of seconds. This allows Neoen to take full advantage of the energy swings.
Australian summers are hot and the energy demand increases considerably during the summer months. Tesla’s battery was paid up to $1000/MWh to charge itself. According to the Australian Energy Review, this price may have cleared $1 million in the last few days.
The Review wrote, “Another view of this data is presented below, showing the actual price achieved during the buying (charging) and selling (generation). It’s hard to be sure, but it might have made around $1 million over the two days from the wholesale market.”
The system is favouring the government and just last month, it was able to react to the crash of a coal plant in a matter of milliseconds. This was faster than the energy observer could keep track of the changes. According to Renew Economy’s Giles Parkinson, the system is still being tested and it could have unlimited possibilities that we are not even considering right now.
There are reports that Australia is looking to build similar wind and battery pack farms all across the country and looking at the success of this one, it won’t be a surprise.