Tesla is continuing its push into the lucrative Australian energy markets with a new contract for a 4MW/8MWh grid-scale battery for the Queensland utility in Townsville, Australia.
The new installation will bring balance to Queensland’s government-owned grid and will serve to supplement the existing virtual power plant and grid-scale batteries on the Queensland grid. According to Renew Economy, the new installation was announced over the weekend to help with the significantly increased amount of solar generation the area surrounding Townsville has seen in recent years.
“Battery storage technology is the next stage in steady progress to enabling a renewable energy future and reaching our target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030,” Australian Parliamentarian Mark Furner said in a statement. “With around 20,000 residential rooftop solar systems in Townsville, battery storage technology will help ensure power quality and reliability in the local network.”
The new Tesla installation will be installed to the west of Townsville in the Bohle Plains later this year. The energy solutioneers at government-owned Yurika will manage the battery after startup as it works to integrate the new chunk of storage into its virtual power plant management system. Yurika is also the team that managed the deployment of Queensland’s 17 DC fast charging stations last year.
Adding this new 4MW/8MWh block of energy storage to the grid in Queensland allows the state to continue allowing new solar installations as it soaks up solar generation in the day and feeds it back to customers at night. It will also provide backup power in the event of a grid failure or other outage, but that’s not really the exciting part of this.
The real revolution that is happening with energy storage today was demonstrated for the world at scale for the first time at the 129MWh / $66 million Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia. It was primarily tasked with frequency moderation for the regional grid in SA and quickly proved its value, saving the utility $9 million in its first 6 months of operation and a full $25 million after its first year. But that’s just the start.
From there, the Hornsdale Power Reserve really started leaning into the nuances of the way pricing for grid operators works and is even putting the squeeze on natural gas peaker units in the region, forcing new projects to be abandoned and older units to be shuttered. Energy storage at this scale and at these prices is not just an incremental improvement to the way we operate, balance, and pay for our electricity, but rather, it is a coup d’etat that changes the game entirely.
Change was initially being felt on the financial side of things, but in this second iteration of the logic, it is forcing regulators to redefine the risk and rewards equations that underpin the way grids operate around the world. Hornsdale proved this in South Australia and Tesla’s new Grid Controller brought similar disruptive stability to Samoa in its first installation.
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