The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has praised the first few months of the Tesla big battery in South Australia, saying it is faster and smarter than conventional turbines. In a new report, the grid operator has illustrated how the battery was used in frequency control and ancillary services market.
Graphs in the report show that the battery was able to provide a more accurate and faster response than conventional generators. Of particular note is the graph that shows the battery response to a major outage of a fossil fuel generator in NSW on December 18.
Tesla battery demonstrates super accuracy
The graph shows that the response of the Tesla big battery was virtually immediate when the frequency deviates below 49.85Hz.
“Commissioning tests and simulations confirm that the HPR is capable of responding more rapidly to a contingency event than conventional synchronous generation,” AEMO notes in its report.
The battery is also significantly more accurate than conventional turbines. The first graph shows the conventional turbine response to AEMO demands.
While in the ballpark, the response rate is rarely highly accurate. The Tesla graph, on the other hand, indicates devastatingly precise accuracy.
Lots of discharge still in reserve
Unfortunately, this accuracy rate is not yet valued by the energy market. But the report suggests that could change as the industry catches up to emerging technologies. Interestingly the majority of the battery’s discharge capacity has still not been used, it is sitting in emergency reserve for when it is needed.
Tesla comes to SA after damaging weather conditions
The historic partnership between Tesla and the South Australian government came after the state was plagued by extreme weather conditions that damaged key energy infrastructure resulting in prolonged statewide blackouts. The then-Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherall, called for expressions of interest from the international energy industry asking for solutions to the problem.
Of the 91 proposals accepted, Tesla was awarded the winner. Telsa teamed up with French renewable energy provider Neoen's to connect the battery to their Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown.
Tesla teams up with Neoen for further project
The Tesla storage system charges from the renewable energy provided by the wind farm and then delivers the electricity back to the electricity grid during peak hours. The entire system provides stable green energy at large scale.
More than 30,000 homes can be provided for by the system. Following the success of the Tesla project in South Australia, other states are jumping on board to build their own powerpack projects. Tesla will again team up with Neoen’s wind farm to build another Powerpack system in Victoria in the SouthEast of Australia.
Tesla successfully won the contract to build a 20 MW battery system to support the 204 MW wind farm at the Bulgana Green Power Hub. Telsa CEO Elon Musk tweeted news of the report's praise.