The Tesla big battery has been the big news of the Australian electricity sector since its formal opening at the start of December, grabbing headlines for its many interventions in the energy market and the first-of-its-kind demonstration of the next generation of technologies. The Tesla battery, formally known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve, is perhaps the biggest development in an industry that has seen little real change in nearly a century – its impact is probably more profound than even the spectacular cost reductions in wind and solar power. For much of its first weeks of operation, most of the Tesla big battery’s activities were a mixture of tests, trials and just a little showboating – going from zero to 100MW in 140 milliseconds, jumping in ahead of contracted generators to arrest falls in frequency as big coal generators tripped off-line, and just generally being smart and fast. Some of its early manoeuvres were spectacular but didn’t appear designed to be making money, focusing more on testing its capacities and abilities, particularly its speed of response and reliability, as much for the satisfaction of its builders (Tesla) and owners (Neoen) as for curious third parties. That phase seems largely complete, and in the midst of the heatwave and the gyrations in supply, demand and pricing last week, it seems that Tesla is now able to demonstrate its ability to cash in and make money for its owners.
Renew Economy 23rd Jan 2018 read more »