One Tesla Powerpack battery just saved an Australian town over $1.5 million in grid connection costs. Logan City in south-east Queensland installed a solar system for their water reservoir, built to cater to the region’s growing community.
The water chlorination plant was constructed too far from the nearest power grid so needed its own source of power. The facility required a grid connection for when the sun disappeared. Instead, they chose to install a single Powerpack battery for going off-grid. Now, they estimate it has saved them over a million dollars.
“There was a need to have this reservoir; there was a need for it to be powered for its chlorination treatment however it was in an area where it was completely off the grid. We were concerned until demand increases, water stored in the network may age and not stay at the highest possible quality," Mayor Luke Smith told Australian news outlet, ABC.
The Powerpack, once combined with a solar installation consisting of 323 panels on the roof of the Logan reservoir, should power the water treatment plant 24 hours a day and will service up to 200,000 people in the region.
"We've obviously been trialing it for the last few weeks, and we're confident that it's going to work, but what it will do is it will set a new standard, I think, globally but particularly what we're building in Logan," Mayor Smith said to ABC.
The huge 95 kWh Tesla Powerpack battery is the first to be installed in Australia and has gained a significant amount of support from Australians. A recent survey conducted by the Climate Council indicated that nearly three-quarters of those queried believe batteries and solar systems will become mainstream for the next generation. Tesla has the full backup of Australia's government which shows dedication to renewable energy and in particular, wind and solar power.
"It shows that Australians do understand that renewables — particularly solar and increasingly battery storage — provide a solution to high power prices," the Climate Council's Andrew Stock said in an interview with ABC.
Tesla in Australia
This is encouraging considering Elon Musk is currently building a massive 100/MW129MWh Powerpack system to be paired with a Wind Farm near Jamestown, South Australia. This is probably just one of the future projects that a company will in time perform in Australia.
Musk and his tech company Tesla won the bid in July to stabilize South Australia’s grid after parts of the country were experiencing significant power outages. He even offered to deliver his energy storage system in 100 days, or it would be free of cost. While commercial in nature, the main priority of Tesla Energy team was to enable unobstructed production and storage of electricity that will help local population and infrastructure in years to come.
“Upon completion by December 2017, this system will be the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world and will provide enough power for more than 30,000 homes, approximately equal to a number of homes that lost power during the blackout period,” said Tesla in a blog post.
This will be the world’s largest Tesla battery system and will have three times the power capacity of the next largest system in the world. But it’s not the only Tesla project currently being developed down under, the company recently designed Powerwall 2 installations and won another contract with a major electric grid to install Powerpacks across several sites.
Gigafactory 1 in Nevada must be buzzing with activity. Talk about utility!
Written by Danielle De La Bastide