Tesla’s utility-sized energy storage has become a practical reality. The tech company has introduced the Megapack, a container-sized battery meant for “large-scale” storage that could help quickly deploy renewable energy and even replace conventional “peaker” power plants that come online when there’s high demand. A single Megapack has up to 3MWh of storage, or roughly 14 times the 210kWh of a Powerpack. That, in turn, leads to very rapid deployments. Tesla claimed it could deploy a clean 250MW, 1GWh power plant in less than three months, or four times faster than a similarly-sized fossil fuel plant.
The batteries can connect directly to solar, and all the Megapacks in a storage farm talk to a central Powerhub that helps control and monitor projects. Utilities that have an excess of energy can also use the AI-powered Autobidder to sell electricity to others in need.
And yes, the reports of an early customer were true. PG&E will use Megapacks as alternatives to natural gas peakers for its in-progress Moss Landing project in California. This could not only avoid the need for dirty power, but save the utility from spending “millions of dollars” each day to keep the peakers running.
Tesla already has close partnerships for large-scale batteries in places like Australia. However, it’s clearly hoping to make those deployments far more commonplace. It might be a wise bet. Renewable energy is continuing to grow rapidly, to the point where the US’ capacity has overtaken coal. There’s a good chance all those new solar and wind farms will need energy storage to reliably deliver electricity, and giant batteries like these could make that storage relatively easy to deploy.
Published at Mon, 29 Jul 2019 22:39:00 +0000