Add batteries to stabilize the grid

[Edit 13th March – This has really blown up in the media since I wrote this blog over a week ago. I did not think it would gain as much traction so I just scheduled this blog to go live 1 week forward from when I wrote it (as I often do if I have a few blogs stacked up), but then I am also not sure that I have anything timely to say, so in the end, I am just a bit dejected that I was talking about this a week before mainstream media picked it up, but on the flip side, you do not come to this blog to be on the bleeding edge of tech news?]

Ok, on the back of yesterdays blog, I just had to follow up with this other angle…..

Tesla is in talks with the Australian Government about adding ‘utility sized’ battery storage to the grid to help stabilize it.

Some takeaway points I want to highlight;

The Australian government, which has been known for encouraging fossil fuels, currently counts on peaker plants and “clean coal” to fix the issue, Rive claimed that Tesla could do it better and faster.

This puts the finger on the two points I made yesterday, pulling the gas (peaker plants) AND making the coal ‘clean’ is not the answer. You can’t just pull them out, put in some solar, wind and hydro plants, it just won’t be stable enough.

He referenced the 80MWh Powerpack station with Southern California Edison in Los Angeles, which they built and brought online in just 90 days.

This installation is just down the road from Temecula. There is nothing to look at, other wise I might drive down and check it out. The point is, Tesla have done it. They know this stuff. It is not bleeding edge, it is not rocket science. It is battery banks and inverters. That’s it.

Tesla then really really hits the nail on the head;

“It makes no sense to duplicate infrastructure. By the time it gets up and running, the technology will be obsolete. It’s going to take years. […] And it still doesn’t address the problem. It’s a bandaid. We don’t need to build more transmission lines. …The only reason we’re building more transmission lines is to address congestion that may happen a few times a year. Storage can fill that gap. Use the existing infrastructure (and add battery storage) and it solves the problem. It really does. And it’s more cost effective. Why go the other path?”

Boom. Love this. Don’t spend millions and millions on 2-3 days a year for some weird sequence of weather events. Spend a little money that will fix the day to day, week to week disturbances on the grid.

The article then goes on to talk about the Tesla Powerwall product, I have some thoughts on those too, but they will have to wait, along with the blog on the ‘duck curve’…..