ELECTRIX / / Jan 4, 2018
Tesla’s Powerpack project at a wind farm in South Australia garnered a lot of attention in media – mainly because of Elon Musk’s bet for Tesla to bring it online in “100 days or it will be free” and the fact that it became the most powerful battery system in the world.
But now that it is deployed, those things don’t matter much and the battery system is instead impressing with its capacity, like when it reacted within milliseconds when an Australian coal power plant removed itself from the power grid last month.
The successful use of the Powerpack system apparently inspired the neighbouring state of Victoria to also choose Tesla for the deployment of another massive battery system.
The first battery system was paired with Neoen’s wind farm project north of Adelaide in South Australia and now the two companies are reportedly working together again on this new project in Victoria.
AFR reported today that Tesla was picked to build a 20 MW battery system to support their 204 MW wind farm at the Bulgana Green Power Hub in Western Victoria.
We are talking about a less powerful battery system than the one in South Australia, but it should still end up being one of Tesla’s biggest projects to date.
Franck Woitiez, Neoen’s managing director, commented:
“The performance of the South Australian battery is outstanding. The Bulgana battery is primarily going to provide energy to Nectar Farms and may support the grid in the future.”
The project is supported both by a Nectar Farms facility being built on location and the state government.
It’s being built on a significantly less aggressive timeline than Tesla’s previous Powerpack project in Australia since the battery system is expected to come online in about 18 months.
There were several indicators that Tesla would accelerate its energy storage deployment effort in Australia following the first project.
Elon Musk even went on a local TV show and said ‘we’ll work harder’ about Tesla’s effort to solve Australia’s power issues after being told that electricity rates have been increasingly hard on Australian families.
Right now, it looks like there are two kinds of energy storage projects: reactionary ones and preventive ones.
Those new Powerpack projects in Australia and Puerto Rico are happening after significant power outages have affected their regions and now they want a more robust grid. While other projects, a big new 48 MWh project that will help power the island of Nantucket, appears to be more about preventing a similar situation.
I think we are going to see many more of these projects in 2018.