In news from Australia, we learned that Tesla has successfully installed a large battery storage plant. This plant is essentially a giant Powerwall – it has the equivalent of over 9550. Tesla used Powerpacks – up to 200kWh storage per battery pack – to build this storage plant. This massive storage plant offers Australia with resiliency and support for periods where power consumption peaks.
This massive storage plant offers Australia with resiliency and support for periods where power consumption peaks. The country experienced major power outages in 2016 after several storms destroyed transmission towers. The installation of this mega-storage facility reduces the dependency on energy transmitted from afar. Additionally, it offers a local wind energy company the ability to store energy for use during peak usage times. This company can store electricity during periods where production is high and usage is low, and distribute when energy demand is high.
“The 100MW/129MWh battery will be the largest lithium ion battery storage plant in the world and is being built next to the Hornsdale wind farm near Jamestown in South Australia.”
An amazing thing about this project is that it took 100 days to complete. Contrast this with the time to build a fossil fuel or nuclear power plant, and the advantages of battery storage (plus renewable energy production) become clear.
This news follows that of other notable installations – Tesla’s response to Puerto Rico’s energy infrastructure emergency after a recent hurricane, and its role in American Samoa’s energy independence.
As we reflect on the hurricane-related disasters in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, and the energy generation and transmission systems here in Hawaii, we have to be concerned about our level of ability to withstand and quickly recover from storm devastation. While our utility is doing good against its transition to renewables (Hawaii Island energy is at over 50%), more must be done to create pockets of generation and storage capacity. This will minimize the impact of catastrophic damage to transmission infrastructure. Importantly, it can eliminate dependency on fossil fuel and wood burning generators to support peak usage periods.
– Noel Morin