Tesla’s large-scale Powerpack energy storage projects have so far been mostly paired with solar farms, but the technology can also be useful for wind energy when the wind is not blowing.
The massive new 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack system contract that Tesla won in Australia is the first step in that direction since it will be combined with Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm.
Now the company is going deeper into the industry with a new partnership with Vestas, the world’s largest wind-turbine maker.
Denmark’s Borsen newspaper (Paywall) reported the new partnership today and Vestas responded in a statement (via Bloomberg):
“Across a number of projects, Vestas is working with different energy storage technologies with specialised companies, including Tesla, to explore and test how wind turbines and energy storage can work together in sustainable energy solutions that can lower the cost of energy,”
The company is reportedly ready to start commissioning larger energy storage projects to combine with its wind farms and Tesla is reportedly the supply for some of those new projects.
Tesla is currently ramping up battery production at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada in order to both support its new Powerpack projects, like the large Australian contract, and several smaller projects, while also supporting the Model 3 production ramp, which needs batteries from the Gigafactory.
Apparently, demand is so strong that Tesla is using Samsung battery cells in the Powerpacks for the Australian project in order to focus Panasonic’s production at the Gigafactory on other needs.
Now it looks like demand could still increase through the wind energy market. Vestas has deployed over 50 GW of wind power over the years and taken over 2 GW of orders over the first quarter 2017 alone.
The role of batteries in wind farms is to stabilize energy distribution by storing the wind energy when it produces more energy than there’s demand for, and then being able to release this energy when there’s demand for it, but the wind is not blowing.