Featured image: Hornsdale Battery Reserve
Tesla's Big Battery in Hornsdale, South Australia, reached significant new records and breakthroughs, which immediately lowered the wholesale electricity price, as a result of the test.
Additional Tesla Powerpacks were added to the Hornsdale battery, with the expansion, which started in November 2019 and was completed this year. Its full power is now 150MW/194MWh from 100MW/129MWh.
As of June, the Hornsdale Battery Reserve was granted an electricity generator license by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia right after its completion.
It's been instrumental in providing frequency control and emergency backups, which are critical during severe network problems, as well as keeping up with energy arbitrage, buying at the lows and selling at the peaks.
French renewable energy developer Neoen, owner of the Hornsdale Battery Reserve, reported a nearly threefold increase in battery storage revenues in the first half of 2020. The company's revenue comes almost entirely from the Hornsdale battery.
According to Renew Economy, Tesla's Big Battery is currently undergoing "hold point" testing, verifying that it can straddle them once the market operator is satisfied with the outcome.
As the latest series of tests are taking place, the Hornsdale battery did a rapid 270MW flip test, charging at 120MW to discharging at 150MW.
Source: Renew Economy
It appears to have flipped between the two on several different occasions, and at least one of them had an immediate impact on the wholesale electricity price, bringing it down to just over $8/MWh.
270MW flips, between the level of discharge to the level of charge, seem to have set a world record in speed as well as the extent of the change. This flexibility of large batteries is especially attractive to project owners and valuable to the market operators.