Tesla Energy’s Powerpack farm in South Australia recently set a new record by delivering 150 MW of power to the region’s grid. The recently upgraded battery was able to accomplish this achievement despite the installation still undergoing complex tests following its expansion from a 100MW/129MWh to a 150MW/194MWh system.
The battery farm, which is officially referred to as the Hornsdale Power Reserve, fed 150MW to the South Australian grid on Tuesday, July 21 at around 2:21 p.m. local time. This represented the maximum output of the recently upgraded battery system, whose storage and capacity have been raised by 50%, as per a statement from Neoen, the Powerpack farm’s owners.
By expanding the installation to a world leading 150MW/194MWh, the Tesla big battery would be ready to start offering new services to customers in the area. Among these is the delivery of the synthetic inertia and “grid forming” capabilities, services that were once dominated by gas or diesel generators in the local grid, as per a report from Renew Economy.
It’s almost ready ! The expanded Hornsdale Power Reserve is now entering its final testing phase. Thanks to @Tesla, @DEM_sagov, @CEFCAus & @ARENA_aus for supporting this next chapter of an extraordinary world-leading project. pic.twitter.com/PBC2CVx63x— Neoen Australia (@NEOEN_AU) June 25, 2020
The brief display of power from the upgraded Tesla Powerpack farm during its current tests is almost symbolic, as the facility showed that it will have the potential to disrupt the region’s energy sector even further. Even before its 50% upgrade, the Hornsdale Power Reserve has already created a huge impact in the region by improving grid stability and security, preventing outages, and lowering prices for consumers. Even Neoen, which owns the facility, has benefited from the Powerpack farm’s operations.
Just this June, a report from Aurecon emerged stating that the Tesla big battery had reduced costs in South Australia’s main grid by AU$116 million through Contingency and Regulation Frequency control ancillary Services (FCAS). largely due to the battery, average FCAS costs in the region were reduced by over 90%, from AU$470 per MWh to only AU$40 per MWh. This dealt a big blow to the region’s gas cartel.
With its upgraded setup, the disruption of the Hornsdale Power Reserve may just be starting. Its success, after all, has inspired the buildout of a number of other prominent battery systems in the country, including a Tesla Megapack system in Victoria that’s expected to have a size of 600MW/1200MWh. The Powerpack farm has additionally earned near universal acclaim, with the battery being praised by energy companies, analysts, as well as the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).