Tesla Megapacks picked for Edify’s 300MWh Australia battery portfolio

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Tesla has been contracted to provide 150MW/300MWh of its Megapack battery energy storage system (BESS) solution for projects in development by Edify Energy in Australia. 

Edify Energy said the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deal signed with Tesla Motors Australia covers three standalone lithium-ion BESS installations which will be connected to an electric substation at Darlington Point, in the Murrumbidgee Shire, New South Wales (NSW). 

The three colocated projects in the portfolio are the 60MW/120MWh Riverina Energy Storage System 1, 65MW/130MWh Riverina Energy Storage System 2 and the 25MW/50MWh Darlington Point Energy Storage System. 

Last May, oil and gas major Shell’s consumer utilities subsidiary Shell Energy signed a long-term services agreement for operational rights to Riverina Energy Storage System 1. As reported by Energy-Storage.news at the time, it will be used to service Shell’s long-term retail contract with the NSW government.

The relationship between Edify and Tesla in Australia goes back to their work together on a battery storage retrofit at Gannawarra solar fam in Victoria, completed in 2018 and among the country’s first large-scale battery projects. 

The 25MW/50MWh system at Gannawarra was based on Megapack’s predecessor, the Tesla Powerpack — which is still available as a commercial and industrial (C&I) or small utility application product, but has been replaced for larger projects with the Megapack since its launch in 2019. Each Megapack has a maximum capacity of 3MWh. 

Tesla has supplied some of Australia’s biggest BESS projects so far including the Hornsdale Power Reserve (150MW/193.5MWh) and the just-completed Victorian Big Battery (300MW/450MWh), both of which were by developer Neoen. Megapacks will also be used at Genex Power’s 100MWh Bouldercombe project in Queensland which has reached financial close in the past few weeks.

The 300MWh of battery storage at Darlington Point will play into the National Electricity Market (NEM), which covers most of Australia’s east coast regions. The NEM already offers revenue opportunities for batteries on a merchant basis for ancillary services and arbitrage, and is evolving rapidly to accommodate greener and more efficient grid assets like batteries and inverter-based renewables. 

“The advantages of large-scale batteries in our growing world of renewables are well documented and supported,” Edify CEO John Cole said.

“Energy storage is rapidly becoming a valued capacity solution for the National Electricity Market, given its fast and precise response and technical capability. The pace of advancement in this growing technology class is exciting and with it a breaking of the barriers to acceptance from market and network participants.” 

Smart inverters at the Darlington Point Substation projects will mean the battery systems will also be able to support the local grid with stability services traditionally played by the rotating mass of thermal generation plants, providing synchronous inertia.

“Without a doubt, as the understanding of advanced inverters grows, we will see more smart technologies replacing rotating machines and accelerating Australia’s transition to a clean energy future,” Cole said.

A recent Guest Blog for this site from Blair Reynolds, a product manager for inverter manufacturer SMA, explained the growing role inverter-based technologies can play in mimicking synchronous rotating machines to help stabilise the grid in a low-carbon future.

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