World’s first: Tesla batteries providing large-scale inertial services

Let’s start with the ABCs: what are inertial services on a power grid? Even before that, what is inertia in a grid setting? Most of us should remember the “inertia” of our early elementary school years. Inertia is the natural inclination of an object to keep moving (if there is no friction) or to stay still if that object is not moving. But at first glance, it’s confusing in terms of electricity, until you think a bit about how electricity is generated in old-fashioned thermal power plants. I will leave the UK ESO National Grid Explain:

“Many generators producing electricity for the grid have rotating parts – they spin at the right frequency to help balance supply and demand and can spin faster or slower if needed.

“The kinetic energy “stored” in these rotating parts constitutes the inertia of our system. If there is a sudden change in the frequency of the system, these parts will continue to spin – even though the generator itself has lost power – and will slow that change (what we call the rate of change in frequency) for that our control room restores balance.

“Inertia behaves much like the shock absorbers in your car’s suspension, dampening the effect of a sudden bump in the road and keeping your car stable and moving.”

Solar and wind power do not provide these inertia services for the grid, so grid operators must find something else to rely on instead of coal and natural gas power plants to avoid d turning on old coal-fired power stations to provide this service as more renewables are built. After all, what good is renewables if coal power is running in the background to help with frequency regulation and inertia.

As Clean Technica readers know by now, batteries are key here. I’ll rely on another explanation of network inertia to get to this, this one from the UK Energy Research Accelerator“Grid inertia is a form of energy storage that resolves imbalances between supply and demand on power grids over very short periods of time, typically on the order of fractions of a second to several seconds.” While coal and gas-fired power plants can help address these imbalances, nothing beats the speed and capacity of real-world batteries to meet this challenge. And now we have a great full-scale example.

Tesla’s “Big Battery” in South Australia has obtained approval from the Australian Energy Market Operator to provide inertia services to Australia’s national electricity market. Neoen, which owns and operates the 150MW/193.5MWh Hornsdale Battery (aka Hornsdale Power Reserve), claims it is the world’s first large-scale battery providing inertial services. The Big Battery is capable of delivering approximately 2,000 “megawatt seconds” (MW) of inertial equivalence to help maintain grid stability. It does this through Tesla’s Virtual Machine Mode service.

Most of us know nothing about megawatt seconds. How much is this Big Battery helping by getting into the inertia service business in South Australia? According neoanit will be able to supply around 15% of South Australia’s inertia deficit.

South Australia now has a whopping 64% of its electricity from renewables. The state network serves about 1.7 million people and about 150,000 businesses.

“Large grid-scale batteries in Australia today find themselves in an odd position where the technology is capable of providing multiple grid services, including fast frequency response, frequency regulation and power arbitrage. , and now – with advanced inverters – inertia. The problem is that there are no markets yet to reward this total value stack,” photo magazine Remarks.

“We are delighted to announce the successful deployment of Inertia at Hornsdale Power Reserve. This achievement was forged through exceptional teamwork: I would like to acknowledge the dedication of our team and our long-time partners at Tesla, along with our trusted counterparts at AEMO and ElectraNet,” said Louis de Sambucy, Managing Director of Neoen Australia. “This has been made possible through the support of the South Australian Government and the Australian Government through the ARENA and the CEFC. As a pioneer in delivering grid-scale inertia, Neoen continues to lead the way in battery storage innovation, furthering its contribution and commitment to the 100% battery storage goal. renewable energy of South Australia. »

“The strong collaboration with Neoen and its supporting partners to develop an inertial grid-scale battery demonstrates what can be achieved to support Australia’s unique energy transformation,” adds Daniel Westerman, CEO of AEMO.

“The Hornsdale Power Reserve was groundbreaking when we commissioned it in 2017 and continues its pioneering role,” added Tom Koutsantonis, South Australia’s Minister for Energy and Mines. “He is leading the innovation of inverter-based technologies, paving the way for other much-needed large-scale storage projects in Australia and beyond. Expanding Hornsdale Power Reserve capabilities by enabling virtual machine mode, a world first, further demonstrates South Australia’s commitment to global leadership in the adoption and integration of renewables to improve grid stability and energy reliability, while lowering electricity prices for all South Australians.

Naturally, not having a public relations department and not being a great specialist in traditional public relations, no comments from Tesla were included in the press release. However, if you want to see other executive partners congratulate each other, read their comments here.


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