Australia switches on Victoria Large Battery powered by Tesla Megapacks

A Tesla Megapack in Moss Touchdown, California

Andrew Evers | CNBC

One of many world’s largest battery-based vitality storage programs, powered by Tesla’s utility-scale Megapack batteries, started working within the Australian state of Victoria on Wednesday.

Giant vitality storage programs based mostly on lithium-ion batteries have the potential to stop blackouts and let utilities retailer and use extra vitality generated from renewable however intermittent sources, like photo voltaic or wind.

Paris-based renewable vitality large Neoen developed the ability with companions Tesla Power and AusNet, with some development by Cimic Group’s UGL. It has sufficient capability to energy a million houses for half an hour, in keeping with the website online for the undertaking.

Lily D’Ambrosio, Australia’s Minister for Power, Setting and Local weather Change, mentioned in a tweet on Wednesday in Australia, “The Victorian Large Battery is right here. It is the largest battery within the southern hemisphere — safeguarding our vitality provide by sizzling days, driving down electrical energy costs and supporting our large renewable vitality construct. Victoria, you have to be proud.”

She additionally mentioned, in keeping with a report within the Australian day by day newspaper The Age, that 80% of the system’s capability might be reserved for moments when Victoria’s energy provide is underneath excessive stress. In these conditions, the massive battery ought to be capable of energy greater than 650,000 houses for an hour.

Whereas that does not sound like a very very long time, even a brief reserve of backup energy could make an enormous distinction to a big inhabitants.

After a failure, grid operators usually use mills to produce electrical energy to energy crops for emergency “black begins” to allow them to restart their very own operations and proceed supplying energy to houses and companies.

Having a reserve of vitality in a large, lithium-ion battery based mostly vitality storage system can maintain the lights on at houses and companies whereas grid operators take care of points on the plant. Or, vitality storage programs can function black begin assets themselves.

Earlier than it was switched on in July 2021, a hearth impacted two of the Tesla Megapacks that energy the Large Battery. No accidents have been reported, although the fireplace triggered a poisonous air alert to surrounding neighborhoods.

After that, Neoen mentioned that Tesla took “mitigating actions” based mostly on a root trigger evaluation carried out collectively. For instance, Tesla made adjustments to its Megapack firmware and monitoring programs on the website, Neoen mentioned on the time.

Tesla’s vitality division has not been a revenue engine for the corporate lately. Nonetheless, executives described growing demand for the corporate’s vitality storage merchandise together with the Powerwall for houses, Powerpack for industrial amenities, and utility-scale Megapacks through the firm’s third-quarter earnings name.

Throughout the quarter, Tesla generated $806 million in income from its vitality division, which mixes photo voltaic and vitality storage merchandise. Prices of income for Tesla Power rose through the third quarter to $803 million, which means Tesla Power squeaked out a skinny revenue. By means of comparability, automotive revenues through the quarter topped $12 billion, with automotive price of revenues amounting to $8.4 billion.

The corporate mentioned in its monetary submitting for that interval:

“We proceed to extend the manufacturing of our vitality storage merchandise to satisfy excessive ranges of demand, together with starting development of our Megafactory in Lathrop, California, however such manufacturing can also be delicate to world part constraints. For Megapack, vitality storage deployments can differ meaningfully quarter to quarter relying on the timing of particular undertaking milestones.”

The Victorian Large Battery ought to herald income for that division now that it’s switched on.

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