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Tesla Powerpack 2 system is scalable from 200 kWh to 100+ MWh. (Image credit Tesla)

 

Last September, Australians living in the southern half of the country got to experience what it’s like to live on the sun. To add insult to injury, they were also hit with a massive storm that knocked out power to 1.7-million homes. As a result, government officials began looking for ways to incorporate renewable energy sources and storage into the grid that could provide a security blanket in case large-scale power outages were to happen again.

 

One of the leaders in energy storage took notice and offered to provide the Aussies with an energy storage solution that will help with their storage problems. In fact, Tesla was awarded the entire energy storage component of Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm, located near Jamestown. The $1.5-billion plan is expected to increase the power grid to an additional 500,000 homes as well as provide battery backup in case of outages.

 

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Tesla is pairing their Powerpack platform with the Hornsdale Wind Farm located near Jamestown. (Image credit Tesla)

 

According to Elon Musk, “This will be the highest power battery system in the World by a factor of 3!” The Hornsdale Wind Farm produces 315 megawatts while Tesla’s Powerpack will be capable of storing 100 MW/129 MWh of power in reserve. To put that into perspective, it’s enough reserve power to light up 30,000 or more homes during peak hours to help maintain reliable operation of the electrical grid.

 

Tesla states that “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.” Not only is it the world’s largest energy storage project, but it will also be completed in record time- in just a few months.

 

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Each Powerpack 2 features 16 lithium-ion battery pods. (Image credit Tesla)

 

Although Tesla doesn’t specify what type of Powerpack they will use in the project, my money is on their 2nd generation storage solution- the Powerpack 2. Inside are 16 lithium-ion battery pods, each with their own DC-DC converter, making it easy to swap-out if they become damaged or fault in any way. What makes them a great solution for inclusion into an alternative energy power grid is their ability to charge/discharge instantly, providing frequency regulation, voltage control and spinning reserve to the grid when needed.

 

As far as when the Powerpacks will be integrated into the Wind Farm- Elon Musk pledged completion in only 100 days and will begin as soon as the contract is inked and will cost Tesla $50-million or more if they don’t deliver in the required time frame.

 

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