Since investing in Tesla’s 129-hour megawatt Hornsdale Power Reserve Battery, Southern Australia has saved $5.7 million in its second quarter of operation, and $18 million year to date, reports Clean Technica.
On top of that, the battery itself doesn’t seem to be overexerting: “Currently, only 30% of the system’s 100 MW capacity is being utilized for trading, leaving an open question on the table about the potential revenue generated with the full capacity of the system,” Clean Technica says.
Additionally, the charging and discharging trends of batteries reveal that “batteries are getting smarter as the grid evolves to the new reality of having such a sizable storage array.” In Southern Australia’s case, in its first quarter, the Hornsdale Reserve Battery charged at night, and discharged in the evening, when “the duck curve of power utilization hits,” and solar production tapers. However, in the second quarter, while the battery still charged at night, it also added a morning discharge period “that presumably absorbs high grid usage from consumers starting their morning routines before solar production for the day starts ramping up,” as well as a brief recharge period during the day’s peak solar production period to prepare for the evening duck curve, according to Clean Technica.
What decision makers should know about the dollars and cents:
Clean Technica reveals that a pricing change occurred once the country invested in this Tesla battery. For example, during the first six months of the battery system’s operation, the weighted average sales of power were $191/MWh. This was caused by high prices in January of this year, “which, when removed, show a weighted average sales price of $141/MWh. In contrast, the system bought power for an average price of $79/MWh.”
The pricing split shows how “inflexible” traditional grids and power generation is, and how it defines the benefits for those who move to grid-scale batteries. As a result, decision makers should expect to see more companies and countries investing in batter solutions similar to Southern Australia’s. “The need for grid storage will be further magnified as more and more renewables are added, with intermittent generation that makes the ability to store off-peak wind power for a few hours increasingly valuable,” Clean Technica says.