New Zealand unveils grid-scale pilot as first Tesla Powerpack launches

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The Tesla Powerpack system installed for power distribution firm Vector. Image credit: Vector.
A New Zealand network operator will install a grid-scale battery from S&C Electric as part of a pilot programme. The news comes in the same week that the first Tesla Powerpack in the country was officially opened.

Counties Power will commission the new pilot project with S&C in mid-2017 as it assesses the potential of ancillary grid services and peak shaving. The company is working with a number of parties, including a major electricity supplier, with a view to expanding its use of energy storage.

The 250kW/500kWh battery will be based at a substation in Tuakau, North Waikato.

"As a consumer-owned distribution network, cost-effective, high quality and safe power supply are minimum expectations for our owners," said Sheridan Broadbent, chief executive, Counties Power. "The pilot will enable us to trial batteries as a core network element, which could help us to avoid or reduce future capital investment. We will be able to assess benefits for our customers such as supply quality enhancement, provision of ancillary network services and peak shaving."

Last week, New Zealand’s minister for energy and natural resources officially opened a 1MW/2.3MWh Tesla Powerpack system for power distribution company Vector.

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