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Tesla installs Powerpack in Townsville, Australia

by Eva Fox January 17, 2020

Tesla installs Powerpack in Townsville, Australia

Renewable energy in Australia includes wind power, hydroelectricity, solar PV, heat pumps, geothermal, wave and solar thermal energy.

According to Wikipedia, in 2019, Australia met its 2020 renewable energy target of 23.5% and 33 terrawatt-hours (TWh). Australia produced 378.7 PJ of overall renewable energy (including renewable electricity) in 2018 which accounted for 6.2% of Australia's total energy use (6,146 PJ). Renewable energy grew by an annual average of 3.2% in the ten years between 2007-2017 and by 5.2% between 2016-2017. This contrasts to growth in coal (-1.9%), oil (1.7%) and gas (2.9%) over the same ten year period. It is estimated that Australia produced 48,279 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of renewable electricity in 2018, which accounted for 21.3% of the total amount of electricity generated in Australia.

Similar to many other countries, development of renewable energy in Australia has been encouraged by government energy policy implemented in response to concerns about climate change, energy independence and economic stimulus.

Source: Prof Ray Wills/Twitter

Queensland’s first community-scale battery is nearing completion after the delivery of its 4 MW Tesla battery. The battery, to be charged with excess solar power from Townsville’s residential rooftop PV, should connect to the grid by the end of the summer.

According to Pv Magazine, a few days ago, Townsville received the main unit and kiosk of the 4 MW/8 MWh Tesla battery. Which means that the community-scale battery is almost ready to receive charge from excess solar power fed into the grid during the day and provide valuable back-up power supply to the local community.

The battery system will form part of a 135 MW Virtual Power Plant (VPP), owned and managed by Yurika, an arm of publicly-owned Energy Queensland. The 135 MW of excess solar is provided by ten suppliers around Queensland.

Image: Yurika


“With about 21,000 residential rooftop solar systems in Townsville, battery storage technology will help ensure power quality and reliability in our local network,” said Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper. “The battery will also take the pressure off our substations and other power assets and will explore how such technology may allow Ergon to push back spending on some network infrastructure.”

Queensland is a world leader in rooftop solar installation, and the state is eager to secure its solar development with battery storage technology. Acting Energy Minister Mark Ryan called this “the next wave of Queensland’s renewable energy revolution.”

“Batteries are going to play a big part in helping with the reliability of electricity networks with so much renewable energy being brought on-line right across Australia,” said Yurika Executive General Manager Charles Rattray.

Source: Prof Ray Wills/Twitter

Tesla’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) saved the grid in October 2019, when a coal-powered peaker plant in South Australia failed to provide electricity to the region.

The South Australian government and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) applauded Queenland’s Tesla-backed VPP when it rescued the state from an unexpected power outage. Queensland’s Kogan Creek coal-powered power station--the largest in the state-- tripped, resulting in the power system to drop far below normal levels. The Virtual Power Plant supplied the grid with electricity from residential batteries when it detected a reduction in power supply. The virtual plant was able to stabilize the grid successfully, despite the VPP system being only around 2 percent complete.

Follow me on Twitter Eva Fox 🦊

Featured image: Yurika




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