Last week, Vector, a major electric utility in New Zealand, inaugurated what it believes to be the ‘first grid-scale Tesla Powerpack installation in Asia-Pacific’. Tesla delivered 24 Powerpacks for a 1MW/2.3MWh system at a substation in Glen Innes, a suburb of Auckland.
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Vector has shown a lot of interest in Tesla’s energy storage products ever since the unveiling of the new ‘Tesla Energy’ Division last year. Not long after the event, Vector announced that it was giving away 130 Tesla Powerwall with new solar installations in the country.
While the Tesla Powerwall is for residential installations, Vector is now interested in the Powerpack to support its grid infrastructure. Chief Executive Simon Mackenzie wrote in a press release that “the Tesla Powerpack battery storage system could help to reduce peak demand and extend the life of the substation, deferring capital expenditure and providing supplementary power to the Glen Innes area – all without compromising reliability.”
Vector says that the new Tesla Powerpack installation will be able to power the equivalent of 450 average homes for 2.3 hours during peak demand hours.
Vector executives and the New Zealand’s Minister of Energy, Hon Simon Bridge, assisted at the inauguration of the new substation. Here are pictures from the event via Vector:
Mackenzie says that they need invest NZ$2 billion ($1.4 billion USD) in Auckland’s electric grid and that the Tesla Powerpack could be an important part of that investment.
The announcement of this first Powerpack installation in the country comes just as Tesla confirmed that it will also expand in New Zealand with its vehicle division. The automaker said that they will start hosting events for potential customers to try its vehicles in the country by the end of the year, and they will have a Tesla Store/Service center and Superchargers in New Zealand in 2017.
Vector is also investing in charging stations to support the growing electric vehicle fleet on its electric grid.
The company also released an interesting timelapse video of the Tesla Powerpack installation from the ground up:
This new project is one among many new Powerpack installations for Tesla in the past few weeks and months:
- Tesla starts to deliver ‘first grid-scale Powerpack system’ in Europe
- Tesla’s Powerpack will power an off-grid solar system at a luxury safari lodge in Africa
- Tesla to deploy ‘largest li-ion battery project in the world’ with 80 MWh in Powerpacks
- Tesla Energy installs 1.5 MWh Powerpack system at Brea Mall in California
We also recently reported that Tesla is working on the Powerpack 2.0 with twice the energy capacity using the new 2170 battery cells produced at the Gigafactory in Nevada. The new product could be unveiled as soon as Friday at Tesla’s ‘solar roof’ event in Los Angeles.