The energy storage system of the Tesla Powerpack in Australia already brings the owners of a multimillion-dollar profit, and since recently also deprives revenues Australian “gas cartel”. In a period of massive failures in the supply of electricity “cartels” provide electricity at an inflated price — sometimes the price comes down to AU$14 000 per MW. But thanks to the intervention of Tesla, the price managed to hold at around AU$270 per MW.
Power outages occur regularly in Australia, while electricity prices in the country are among the highest in the world. In the period of maintenance works and system failures, the prices of electricity rise to record levels.
The reason is the activities of the so-called “gas cartel” of private energy companies, which in response to the request of the local operator of the energy market offering electricity at inflated rates. During periods of high demand, “the cartel” to raise prices for one megawatt up to AU$11 500-AU$14 000. Sometimes in one day for services companies is AU$7 million, while on weekdays, the price is only 10% of this amount.
In mid-January, the Australian energy market operator has asked the company to share its resources. According to The Guardian, responded to the call of the three largest companies AGL, Origin and Engie. They promised to provide only 30 MW, although it had at its disposal more than 400 MW.
First, prices jumped, but soon responded to the request of the owners of Tesla Powerpack — the largest lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 129 MW*h and a power of 100 MW. The energy storage system installed at the wind farm Hornsdale in Jamestown (South Australia), so the farm has also joined the application. As a result, the price of electricity has been kept at around AU$270 per MW.
Over the past 12 months, the request for energy appeared 10 times, and in all cases prices were increased tenfold. However, in December 2017 the cost of auxiliary electricity has fallen by 75% in comparison with December 2016. Experts attribute this to the influence of Tesla, which has launched a battery at the beginning of December.
The energy storage system has already begun to pay off. We will remind that the head of Tesla Elon Musk promised to build a power plant for free, if the company does not keep within 100 days. To abide by the terms, Tesla has succeeded. The construction of the system has cost Australia $32,35 million, not counting tax expenditures and payments to workers.
Already two weeks after the start battery has provided South Australia with energy during an outage at the local coal plant. Later it became known that a couple of days the battery has allowed owners to earn AU$1 million — for this amount, the company Neoen has sold stockpiles of electricity.
Energy systems of Tesla are very popular in Australia — one of the world centers for solar energy. However, electricity prices still beat in the country records. In October during talks with Australian media Elon Musk is surprised at the amounts that Australians have to pay monthly for electricity. He promised to rectify the situation.
One of the steps to remedy will be the construction of the world’s largest “virtual power plant” with a capacity of 250 MW. The Tesla plans that by 2022 the system will connect 50,000 homes.