Tesla’s latest energy product, Megapack, is a large-scale battery solution that can be used to store electricity, which will be sent later. Tesla has long been involved in the energy business, and with the acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, they have strengthened their investment in solar energy and batteries. The Tesla Powerwall Battery Pack, a residential energy storage solution, is one of the most popular home energy storage options available.
Tesla Megapack has the same power consumption as other large-scale data storage solutions, but uses 40% less space and requires 10 times less parts, which means that it can be installed 10 times faster than existing options. In one Megapack there are several components that are contained in one housing. Battery modules, inverters, heat management systems, electrical wiring, and more are all part of Megapack.
Megapack as being capable of “giga-scale projects”, meaning that the Megapack can be used in developing grid-tied storage systems in excess of 1GWh of energy capacity: that’s enough energy to power every home in San Francisco for 6 hours straight.
Image: Eckhart Gouras, pv magazine
Homer Electric Association, Inc. will install a new 93 MWh Tesla Megapack system in Alaska. System will be used to directly offset electricity that would have otherwise required a peaker plant to fire up. A new battery pack will be installed at a power plant in Soldotna Power Plant, next to the existing GE LM 6000 natural gas turbine, which is currently used to generate electricity to cover peak loads in the area.
New Tesla Megapack system in Soldotna will be launched in the fall of 2021.
The local electricity cooperative decided to install the new Tesla Megapack system to create a more flexible grid to accommodate more volatile renewable assets in the grid in the future. Batteries not only act as supporting blocks for the network operator, they are a source of flexibility, one of the most valuable metrics for any network operator when it comes to reliable communication.
Tesla's new batteries will demonstrate that they can directly replace gas-fired power plants even at low temperatures in Alaska, where temperatures typically remain below zero for several months in winter.
The rechargeable battery is installed by the Homer Electric Association specifically to “improve the stability of the power system, the reliability of power supply and the efficiency of the system for its members.” The Tesla Megapack installation will be able to completely discharge its 93 MWh of stored energy into the network with a capacity of 46.5 MW, so a full discharge takes 2 hours.
Adding an energy storage system to the local network allows the Homer Electric Association to meet the requirements for network reliability without resorting to using a gas turbine as an energy source. Using a battery instead of a turbine means less gas to burn, less emissions, and a more reliable network.
Megapack was inspired by Tesla’s Hornsdale project, which combined its 100 MW Powerpack system with Neoen’s wind farm near Jamestown in South Australia. The Tesla Powerpack system stored power generated by the wind farm and then delivered the electricity to the grid during peak hours. The facility saved nearly $40 million in its first year.
Today, the go-to option for utilities are natural gas “peaker” power plants. Peaker power plants are used when a local utility grid can’t provide enough power to meet peak demand, an occurrence that has become more common as temperatures and populations rise.
Tesla hopes to be the sustainable alternative. Instead of using a natural gas peaker plant, utilities could use the Megapack to store excess solar or wind energy to support the grid’s peak loads.
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