Last week, we reported that Tesla was chosen to build another big battery in Australia after the first one proved impressive. It’s a massive project, but it is still smaller than the original project in South Australia.
But now we learn that Tesla is in the running for a third giant Powerpack project and that it could be even bigger than the original one.
As we reported last week, the first project garnered a lot of attention in media – mainly because of Elon Musk’s bet for Tesla to bring it online in “100 days or it will be free” and the fact that it became the most powerful battery system in the world.
But now that it is deployed, those things don’t matter much and the battery system is instead impressing with its capacity, like when it reacted within milliseconds when an Australian coal power plant removed itself from the power grid last month.
South Australia has one. Victoria’s project is now underway, but now Queensland also wants one.
For the first two projects, Tesla partnered with French wind power company Neoen and now the company has a third project in development in Queensland and Tesla is being considered to again pair a massive Powerpack system with the wind power project.
Garth Heron, Neoen’s head of wind development for Australia, told Bloomberg in an interview this week:
“We are looking to do a very large battery as there is a lot of need for electricity storage up in Queensland,”
He didn’t disclose the size of the project, but it would reportedly be bigger than the 100 MW/ 129 MWh project in South Australia, which is technically the biggest lithium-ion battery system in the world for now.
We have been saying for a while now that a snowball effect could come out of this project. It could even be what Musk had in mind when he made the bet. All the attention that it garnered is now turning to the actual usefulness of the system and coming from electric grid operators.
They all want a similar capability for an insanely quick response time to compensate for any issue on their grid.
The thing is that those extremely large projects require extremely large quantities of battery cells. So much so that Tesla didn’t even use Gigafactory cells for the last project. While we don’t know exactly the current production rate of the Tesla Gigafactory 1, 129 MWh of capacity has to represent a significant portion of its output.
They made a deal with Samsung for the last project so maybe another similar deal could happen for other projects as the automaker is still focusing to ramp up Model 3 production.