Musk's Australian Mega-Battery Generates $800,000 Profit in Two Days

Last December, the world's largest Li-Ion battery became operational in South Australia. Built by Tesla for Neoen, the so called Hornsdale Power Reserve was intended to help the country's failing electric grid in times of heatwaves, gyrations in the supply of electricity from usual sources and so on.
Hornsdale Power Reserve 1 photo
Photo: Neoen
Since the start of operation, the battery saved the day on more than one occasion, the most spectacular of which occurring on December 14. The battery activated and injected 7MW of electricity in milliseconds into the grid as soon as it detected a coal power plant, located over 600 miles from the battery, disconnecting from the grid.

This is exactly the type of scenarios the battery was built for. The Australian government needs such solutions after in the summer of 2016 the country was plagued with power outages. And for that purpose it gets some 70% of the battery reserve.

The rest of it belongs to Neoen, who can freely trade the electricity on the wholesale market. Thanks to some interesting twists and turns in energy prices on 18 and 19 January, says Australian publication Renew Economy, Neoen might have earned some $800,000, while spending practically zero.

Tesla's backup solution for electricity grids consists of what it calls Powerpacks, 16 individual battery pods, each with an isolated DC-DC converter. It can be used by commercial consumers and energy providers.

Powerpacks will discharge at times of peak demand to avoid or reduce demand charges, they Shift energy consumption from one point in time to another to avoid paying high energy prices and act as intermediate backup power in the event of a grid interruption.

Tesla's solution scales to the space, power and energy requirements of any site and can be configured in various arrangements. The Hornsdale Power Reserve is a 100MW/129MWh site, covers approximately one hectare of land and draws its power from the Hornsdale Wind Farm, South Australia’s largest renewable generator.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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