Tesla Big Battery Is First in World to Provide Inertia Grid Services at Scale in Australia

von Eva Fox Juli 27, 2022

Tesla Big Battery Is First in World to Provide Inertia Grid Services at Scale in Australia

Image: Neoen

South Australia's 150 MW / 194 MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve will now provide inertial service to the country's National Electricity Market after approval was received from the Australian Energy Market Operator. Neoen claims it is the first big battery in the world to provide the service at such a scale.


After two years of extensive testing, Neoen's Hornsdale Power Reserve is now capable of delivering an estimated 2,000-megawatt seconds (MWs) of equivalent inertia to South Australia's grid through Tesla's Virtual Machine Mode technology, according to pv magazine. Known as virtual synchronous machines or grid forming inverters, this technology gives batteries the capacity to help stabilize the grid by providing inertia. Along with frequency control services, inertia is essential for stable network operation and is especially important after major disturbances. Until now, inertial services have only been provided by gas or coal-fired generators. However, their rapid decommissioning causes a lack of inertia or grid instability.

Hornsdale Power Reserve will now be able to supply about 15% of the state's projected inertia deficit. This is an important milestone on a global scale. The use of this technology in Hornsdale has been approved by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), which is working closely with Neoen, Tesla, and ElectraNet, the South Australian grid operator, to trial the Virtual Machine Mode at Hornsdale following its expansion in 2020.

So far, the companies have completed all the necessary research, testing, and analysis to deploy the technology at scale, and this capacity is available from July 27. “We are proving that our assets can replace fossil fuels not only in the production and storage of electricity, but also through providing all the essential services that a power system needs to function,” Neoen’s Chairman and CEO Xavier Barbaro said. “We are keen to build on this progress, continuing to innovate and to accelerate the transition to renewables in Australia and around the world.”

© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.

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