We have heard of several small Tesla Powerpack projects in the UK over the last year, but a company has now deployed a much larger project that became the biggest behind-the-meter battery in the country when it came online last month.
As we previously reported, Tesla is deploying Powerpacks in commercial buildings in the UK and it is adding the battery system to its own Superchargers, which kept a charging station online during a power outage last year.
Now energy company KiWi Power bought 4.8 MWh of Tesla Powerpacks to build a battery system at Cenin Renewables in South Wales – pictured above.
The company says that it built the installation in three months in order to “provide firm frequency response (FFR) to National Grid after winning a two-year contract offering 24-hour availability at £19/MW per hour.”
FFR is similar grid service to stabilize the network that Tesla’s giant battery pack in South Australia is performing and making millions doing it.
The energy market in South Wales is not as volatile as in South Australia. Therefore, there isn’t an opportunity as important to make a profit, which is why the system is also smaller, but it could also eventually make better use of the renewable energy production on site.
But they are focusing on FFR for now says Quentin Scrimshire, KiWi’s head of energy storage:
“The site gets additional benefits like resilience in the future when it’s not providing FFR and there’s some other value that we can unlock behind the meter. At the moment we’re just focusing on FFR but it’s a future-proofed battery, we can do everything with it,”
“Frequency response is not going away and with the system needs and product strategy it’s clear that National Grid has got a requirement for frequency response that looks a little different from how it looks today, but it’s certainly something that batteries will provide. But we see it being a full mix. That’s Kiwi’s selling point; we get maximum value through lots of different services and we think that’s the future – stacking services on top of each other is going to get us maximum value,”
The system was completed last month and it has been in operation for a few weeks now.
This is one of several recent Powerpack projects for Tesla, including the recent delivery of a Powerpack system to SpaceX’s new spaceport in Texas and a new Powerpack system that brought a business almost completely off-grid in France.