Hydrogen energy storage in French Guiana

Hydrogen energy storage – French hydrogen specialist HDF Energy have announced their  Centrale électrique de l’Ouest guyanais (CEOG) project, which will be one of the world’s biggest solar-plus-storage power plants. The $90m USD plant is expected to generate around 50 GWh per year and will store energy using hydrogen instead of the usual lithium-ion.

Hydrogen energy storage – Centrale électrique de l’Ouest guyanais in French Guiana

Hydrogen energy storage - Centrale électrique de l’Ouest guyanais in French Guiana
Hydrogen energy storage – Centrale électrique de l’Ouest guyanais in French Guiana (source: hdf-energy.com)

With an equivalent 140 MWh of energy stored, CEOG will be the biggest power plant worldwide storing renewable energy using hydrogen.  

The world’s current largest storage project, which was,developed by Tesla and Neoen in South Australia at the Hornsdale Power Reserve, has a slightly lower size – 129 MWh. It uses lithium-ion technology rather than Hydrogen. Neoen have also looked into alternative methods of energy storage, however – they are currently in the middle of building an “Electrolyser” Hydrogen Superhub at Crystal Brook in South Australia.

Hydrogen energy storage technology

According to the manufacturer HDF, the hydrogen energy storage tech has a number of benefits over lithium-ion, such as enabling the storage of energy for long periods of time with minimal loss. It’s a very simple process to store the energy as hydrogen – you just need an electrolyzer, storage tanks, and a fuel cell. 

Firstly the electrolyzer separates hydrogen and oxygen from a water molecule. The resultant hydrogen is then pressurised and stored in tanks. In the fuel cell the hydrogen is combined with oxygen, which then allows the production of electricity and steam. 

Hydrogen has been suffering a tough time of it as late as the efficiency is quite difficult to improve – typical ranges are from 75-80%, according to PV Magazine (click the link to read a fantastic, in-depth article about the future of storing energy as hydrogen). Further losses of between 5-35% result from compression and cooling of the molecular hydrogen. Even for on-site use or with a direct feed into the gas network, you’ll see conversion efficiency of around 70%. 

We need to continue the research to see if the efficiency of hydrogen can be improved and it’ll be very interesting to see what the numbers are from both the French Guiana project and the superhub at Crystal Brook. We’ll keep you posted! 

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SA Tesla Battery Plan – Election Fallout

The future of the SA Tesla Battery plan brokered between Elon Musk’s Tesla and Jay Weatherill’s is on unstable footing after the results of Saturday’s state election in South Australia, seeing Weatherill’s party defeated by the Liberals. But will it make much of a difference? How will the new party serve SA’s rapidly growing renewable energy industry?

SA Tesla Battery Plan
SA Tesla Battery Plan Future? Jay Weatherill and Elon Musk in happier times (source: SA Labor Facebook)

SA Tesla Battery Plan – What Now?

The incumbent Labor party, headed up by Jay Weatherill, lost to the Liberal party on Saturday night after 16 years of rule in South Australia. The new premier is Steven Marshall who seems quite keen on continuing the Labor party’s work on growing renewable energy in the state.

ABC Radio National Breakfast’s Fran Kelly asked Marshall about the plan to equip housing trust properties with Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries, and Mr Marshall said: “That’s not part of our agenda. Our agenda is 40,000 homes.” However, when pressed about the specifics at a later date, Marshall was a (little) more clear on the Liberals’ plans:

“We don’t know where that is but any contracts the [previous] government’s entered into — we’ll be honouring them, there’s no doubt about that. Any other items that they flagged during the election, we’re happy to look at it but we’ve got our own energy policy agenda and we’ll be rolling that out as a priority.”

We wrote earlier this year about the South Australian solar loan program which both parties had different versions of a renewable energy push for the state – Labor were offering $100m for solar loans in South Australia. Up to 10,000 South Australian homeowners could access up to $10,000 for loans for solar panels, batteries, or both – with the loans interest free for the first 7  years. There was talk of the solar batteries offered in this scheme to be 100% manufactured by Tesla. 

In contrast Steve Marshall’s Liberals had the same amount of expenditure – on a bigger scale, with a smaller amount per household – their $100m plan was to provide grants of $2,500 per household for 40,000 dwellings. Mr Marshall argued at the time that 10,000 households was not enough to ‘shift the dial’, speaking about the rapidly increasing cost of electricity. The Liberals haven’t mentioned Tesla specifically and Marshall doesn’t have the same close relationship as Weatherill had with the enigmatic Elon Musk – but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Marshall is clearly keen to move forwards on renewable energy and whether he chooses Tesla or one of the Powerwall 2 alternatives as their energy storage battery of choice may not matter so much.

We’ll keep a close eye on how the Marshall government moves forwards with the SA renewable energy initiatives and keep reporting in! 

 

 

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Victoria solar feed in tariffs to vary based on time.

Victoria solar feed in tariffs – the state’s Essential Services Commission has this week released the details of a brand new feed in tariff (FiT) which changes depending on the hour of the day. It will be introduced to Victoria on July 1. Whilst not compulsory to begin with due to their complicated nature, the tariffs will likely be enforced in 2019/20.

Victoria solar feed in tariffs overview

Victoria solar feed in tariffs - Essential Services Commission
Victoria solar feed in tariffs – Essential Services Commission (source: esc.vic.gov.au)

Changing from a flat FiT to one that is more in life with electricity demand makes sense given that a major problem for solar energy is dealing with supplying power in peak times and during heatwaves. Previously solar feed-in tariffs were calculated on a flat basis, and, although they’ve been raised recently, it’s been neglecting the idea that offering more money for people to feed power back into the grid via a ‘virtual power station’ is likely to help mitigate periods where electricity is unavailable or at a ridiculously high price. 

The idea of a ‘virtual power plant‘ is something being worked at via a supplier level (The AGL Virtual Power Plant‘), a state level (ACT’s Next Generation Energy Storage Program) and a combination of the two (Tesla’s virtual power plant in South Australia). This marks the first time they’ve tried to do this via varying FiTs, however., 

According to RenewEconomy, the regulations will require retailers pay a minimum of 29c per kWh for those who exporting power between 3pm and 9pm, a minimum rate of 10.3c per kWh those feeding power back into the grid between 7am and 3pm, and a minimum rate of 7.1c/kWh (which is actually less than the current price of 7.2c) for those exporting energy during off-peak hours – during 10pm and 7am. So, if people want, for 2018 they can pay an alternative flat rate of 9.9c/kWh, down 1.3c/kWh from the previous flat rate. 

The ESC said that the lower cost for the flat rate from modelling from ACIL Allen. This modelling showed that the “any-time price”of electricity has fallen, but the evening peak price is now higher, and that the constant addition of solar connections will lead to even lower day time prices.

 

 

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Bulgana Green Power Hub to add 20MW Tesla Battery

French renewable energy company Neoen has purchased the Bulgana Green Power Hub, a huge wind+battery storage facility in western Victoria. It will be receiving a Tesla battery similar to the one in South Australia, but just on a smaller scale (20MW vs 100MW). 

Bulgana Green Power Hub

According to the AFR, the 204MW wind farm and 20MW accompanying Tesla battery will entirely power the Nectar Farms crop at Stawell, in Western Victoria. The majority of energy it generates will be fed into the local grid. The Nectar Farms crop is a new 30HA high tech glasshouse facility which will supply tomatoes and other produce for import and export, contributing more than 600 jobs to the Stawell region. 

The Bulgana Green Power Hub will be Neoen’s largest Australian-based project and will create 1300 jobs during construction and 270 ongoing jobs. Neoen are joint owners of the existing 100MW Tesla South Australia solar battery. They are also the developer of the Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia (where the battery is located)

“The performance of the South Australian battery is outstanding,” according to Franck Woitiez, Neoen’s managing director. “The Bulgana battery is primarily going to provide energy to Nectar Farms and may support the grid in the future.”

The South Australian battery was tested late last month and performed admirably, delivering 100MW of power to the grid in 140 milliseconds as the Loy Yang Power station tripped and went offline

Lily D’Ambrosio, Victoria’s energy minister, called the agreement “a major step forward for communities, businesses and the renewable energy industry”.

“This project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while helping meet Victoria’s renewable energy generation targets,” Ms D’Ambrosio said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Bulgana Tesla solar battery is not expected to come online until mid-2019 but we expect to see similar agreements put in place over the coming year. Read more about the Bulgana project by clicking here to visit their website. 

Bulgana Green Power Hub Location
Bulgana Green Power Hub Location (source: bulganawindfarm.com.au)

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Renovagen commercial-scale portable solar power

UK-based Renovagen has been doing some exciting work in the field of portable solar, with commercial-scale portable solar power systems utilising their ‘rapid roll’ technology recently deployed at Flat Holm, in the UK. They’re also working on rolling out (sorry) this technology on a much larger scale – their “Rapid Roll I” will fit in ISO shipping containers and could be a complete game changer in terms of commercial-scale portable solar power. 

Renovagen’s ‘Solar Carpet’ and Flat Holm

Flat Holm is a small island in the Bristol Channel, five miles off the south Wales coast. Traditionally, providing electricity for it has been a ‘challenge’, according to Flat Holm team leader Natalie Taylor. It has no mains supply and the island has been using old solar panels and diesel generators. 

Gareth Harcombe, energy and sustainability manager at Cardiff Council said: “We were looking at solar and hydro, but that takes up a lot of land and land in cities is expensive. But there is a lot of land that we have that’s available whilst it waits for other opportunities. So this was a question about how we could generate electricity in a way that was portable, so once the site is needed for something else it can be moved on.”

That’s where Renovagen came in – their “rapid roll” roll-up solar panels are providing an average of 11KW of power – enough for four residents and visits from tourists. The system includes batteries capable of storing 24KW/h of power, which is about a day’s worth of the island’s energy requirements. This is a fantastic and cost-effective interim solution until they decide what the optimal choice for Flat Holm’s electricity generation will be. 

Renovagen Solar Carpet
Renovagen Rapid Roll “Solar Carpet” deployed at Flat Holm, UK (source: renovagen.com)

About Renovagen

John Hingley, Renovagen Managing Director, started work on this scaled-up mobile solar technology in 2012. It’s now the leading UK startup in commercial-scale portable solar power systems. They fully funded a £1,000,000 equity investment pitch via the UK crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube, in April last year – to help the speed up the development and go-to-market costs of their “Roll-Away” rapid roll portable solar systems. The company had hoped to raise £600,000 in equity funding so this was a great result. 

Currently based in Milton Keynes, their technology has been growing in leaps and bounds – take a look at the video below to learn more about how it works:

Rapid Roll Overview Video Presentation Sept 2016 from John Hingley on Vimeo.

Renovagen Rapid Roll “I”

The Renovagen Rapid Roll “I” is one of the most exciting of their products – currently under development, this portable solar power solution will come in an ISO (International Standards Organization or intermodal, i.e. a standardised size) shipping container and can provide enough power (depending on how technology goes, this could be up to 600kWp, according to Renovagen) for a small city. 

The idea of mobile and portable industrial size scale solar power one is extremely exciting and it has a lot of potential uses. The Rapid Roll “I” will fit in 20ft ISO or 40ft ISO containers and will be able to deploy 5x200m and 10x200m of solar panels respectively.

It comes complete with inverters and a large battery bank (specifics not available yet). 

Commercial-Scale Portable Solar Power

There are many uses for commercial-scale portable solar – off grid power in remote locations is extremely expensive and complicated to set up. Military, disaster relief, mining, construction, events, film production, and telecommunications are all situations where this ‘container solar’ idea could provide a huge help at a cost-effective price. 

If they’re able to scale this technology quickly, imagine how useful it’d be in situations like Puerto Rico where Hurricane Maria has left their ravaged state-owned utility PREPA trying frantically to restore power to the island’s 3.4 million residents. Elon Musk and Tesla has stepped in – they’ve been shipping their Powerpack and Powerwall batteries over there and there’s talk of installing a Tesla microgrid in Puerto Rico, but it’ll still be months before grid power is restored to anywhere but places that need it the most urgently (hospitals, authorities, etc.)

This is one of the biggest breakthroughs in portable solar of the past 10 years – so we’ll see what happens in the wake of Flat Holm and keep you updated. Very exciting stuff for solar!

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Hornsdale Wind Farm – Solar Powerpack Party!

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has attended a Powerpack unveiling at Noeon Hornsdale wind farm in Jamestown, South Australia. The Tesla South Australia battery partnership has been the talk of the nation since it was announced back in July. The lithium-ion battery is now 50% complete and will be built within 100 days of 29 September.

Tesla and the Hornsdale Wind Farm

The 129MWh lithium ion battery is being built to prevent load-shedding blackouts that have plagued South Australia in recent years, most notably in September 2016 when almost the entire state was without power at a point. These blackouts continued over summer as the government scrambled to work on energy security. It will also help

Tesla’s battery seeks to repair some of the energy security woes South Australia had to deal with – it will also help stabilise the grid while generators are started up (in the event of network issues / unexpected weather events).

The Hornsdale Wind Farm signed a grid connection agreement with Electranet on September 29 and some of the Powerpack units were already operational. As per the initial agreement between Musk and the South Australian government, Tesla now has 100 days to complete the task or it’s free – so the clock is ticking! 

If you want to learn more about the Tesla Powerpack in Australia please follow the link where we discuss Tesla’s commercial/industrial grade lithium-ion battery storage offering in more detail. 

Tesla Powerpack Celebration 29.09.2017

Hornsdale Wind Farm Tesla Powerpack
Hornsdale Wind Farm –
Tesla Powerpack Halfway Party (source: ABC.net.au via Tesla)

The party was held to celebrate the halfway point in the construction of their lithium-ion battery – Tesla invited politicians, local landowners and Tesla customers to a marquee overlooking the battery array, which is coming along nicely. “To have that [construction] done in two months … you can’t remodel your kitchen in that period of time,” Musk told the group with a broad smile on his face. The event was powered entirely by Powerpack batteries – it’s really exciting to follow this process and we can’t wait for 100 days to be up and see the results this has on the South Australian energy security crisis. 

Youtube user ‘Video2045’ has kindly uploaded a video of Elon Musk’s speech at the Jonestown ‘Tesla Powerpack Celebration’ – you can view it by clicking below!

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Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date, Specifications, Cost.

Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date, Specs, Cost, and Rumors.

With the great success of the Tesla Powerwall 2, people are already talking about its successor. Although the Powerwall 2 is a fantastic device and can help many households save a lot of money on their power bill, it’s far from a ‘no brainer’ at this point – you need to crunch the numbers to ensure it’s going to be worthwhile to install in your house. But with the cost of lithium-ion dropping rapidly and Tesla competitors chomping at the bit with innovative solutions to battery storage, we’ve no doubt that there’s plenty of work being done on the Tesla Powerwall 3. Could this be the device that finally makes PV solar + storage a standard for homes? Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that they “expect to sell more Powerwalls than cars” so it’s a major part of their business. What features will the Powerwall 3 have? What will it cost and when can we expect it? Read on for more…

Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date
Tesla Powerwall 3 – What can we expect?

Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date

At this point we aren’t sure exactly when the Powerwall 3 is coming out, but let’s look at the time difference between the Powerwall and the Powerwall 2 and see if that gives us any clues:

Powerwall 1: Development commenced in 2012. Announced in 2015 with a pilot demonstration 0f 500 units built and installed. Production moved from Tesla Fremont to Gigafactory 1. Initially came in two models – 10kWh nickel-cobalt-aluminium cathode for backup and 7kWh for daily cycle application. Work on the 10kWh battery was discontinued and they focused on the 7kWh model and brought it to Australia in 2015, with a ten year limited warranty. 

Powerwall 2: Development commencement unknown. Announced in October 2016 at Universal Studios. Production of 2170 cylindrical lithium-ion batteries for the Powerwall 2, Powerpack 2 and Model 3 EVs starts in January, 2017.  First Australian installations early June, 2017. 

Powerwall 3: Potential 2018 announcement.

Tesla Powerwalls in 2018

Tesla’s 129MWh South Australian Battery Farm
According to GTM, in Q4 2017 they deployed 143 MWh of energy storage products, which represented a 45 percent from the same quarter YOY (year-on-year). The 129 MWh of energy storage  the Tesla Battery in South Australia partnership last year will be represented in their figures for Q1 2018.

“Solar [megawatts] deployed declined as volumes continue to be impacted by our decision to close certain sales channels earlier this year and to focus on projects with better margins,” Tesla stated. “In addition, solar deployments were affected by the short supply of Powerwalls for customers who wanted solar plus Powerwall in their house. While volumes may continue to be impacted by these factors over the near term, we expect growth to resume later this year.”

So they were about to build the South Australian battery farm within the 100 days they promised, Tesla had Samsung supply the batteries instead of manufacturing them at their Gigafactory. So it looks like they have a way to go with regards to scaling up their manufacturing processes before we start to even think about seeing a Powerwall 3. 

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Tesla Powerwall 3 Specifications and Features

 

Tesla Powerwall 1 Specs

Dimensions 1302mm long, 862mm wide, 183cm diameter (51.3″ x 34″ x 7.2″)
Battery 7kWh battery (6.4kWh ‘Usable Capacity’)
Power 7kW peak power, 5kW continuous power.
Scalability up to 10 Powerwalls
Weight 97kg (214 pounds)
Cooling Liquid Cooling (liquid thermal control)
Efficiency 92.5% round-trip DC efficiency (at optimal conditions – 25 degrees celcius (77 Fahrenheit) with 2kW charge/discharge power)
  • Tesla Powerwall 1 Specifications and Cost
    Tesla Powerwall 1 Specifications and Cost

    Wall or floor mountable, indoor or outdoor.

  • 100% Depth of Discharge
  • 10 year unlimited cycle warranty

 

 

 

 

 

Tesla Powerwall 2 Specs

Dimensions 1150mm long, 755mm wide, 155mm diameter. (45″ x 30″ x 6″)
Battery 14kWh battery (13.5kWh ‘Usable Capacity’)
Power 7kW peak power, 5kW continuous power.
Scalability up to 10 AC-coupled Powerwall 2’s
Weight Weighs 119.9kg (264.4 pounds)
Cooling Liquid Cooling
Efficiency >90% round trip efficiency.
Tesla Powerwall 2 Specifications and Cost
Tesla Powerwall 2 Specifications and Cost
  • Wall or floor mountable, indoor or outdoor.
  • 10 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Integrated Inverter (converts the DC energy into AC energy you need to use in your house)
  • Control and view your energy usage/storage with the Tesla app (iOS and Android)
  • Degradation – it will hold around 70% of the 13.5kWh after 10 years.
  • Wi-Fi, Ethernet, 3G connectivity.
  • Off-grid support (AC Coupled)
  • Single Phase feed in.
  • 100% depth of discharge available.
  • Outside of the USA: Powerwall 2 doesn’t include inverter with the DC version and only works with a Solar Edge inverter.

Tesla Powerwall 3 Specs

This is all conjecture at this point, but we think some of the features the Tesla Powerwall 3 could include:

  • Heavily optimised for and integrated with Tesla Solar Roof (Aussies can preorder one now, will be available in 2018)
  • Heavily optimised and integrated with Tesla Electric Car (Model S, Model 3 etc.). 
  • Upgraded intelligent energy management – will learn your household’s usage, draw from weather forecasts etc. to ensure your house, battery, car or hot water stay at 100% and you are only feeding back into the grid when it’s optimal.
  • Inbuilt hybrid inverter (i.e. you can plug solar panels directly into it, eliminating the need for a separate inverter for your solar panels. The current inverter is just a battery inverter)
  • 28kWh battery (~26kWh usable capacity)
  • We predict they’ll stick with lithium-ion for the battery as its price is very affordable.
  • Alternatively, Tesla may stick with the 14kWh batteries, make them smaller and easier to install – 14kWh is sufficient power for many households – it depends on the cost/size of the batteries)
  • Single and three phase power compatible. 
  • DC version includes inbuilt inverter.
  • By 2018 Tesla expect their Gigafactory to manufacture 35 gigawatt-hours per year of battery cells. Almost as much as the current global combined battery production capacity. What will this mean for the Powerwall III?
  • What features do you think the Powerwall 3 will have? What would make it a ‘no-brainer’ for you to purchase?  Let us know in the comments.

Tesla Powerwall 3 Price

The cost of the Powerwall 1 and the Powerwall 2 was roughly the same, so we don’t expect the price of the Powerwall 3 to fluctuate more than around 20%. 

Powerwall 1 Price (Australian Installation): Around $10,000 (7kWh battery, installation and supporting hardware included).

Powerwall 2 Price (Australian Installation): Around $10,000 (14kWh battery, installation and supporting hardware included).

Powerwall 3 Price: (Australian Installation): We estimate it will stay around $10,000 installed. 

Powerwall Installers in Australia

There are quite a few companies ready to install the Powerwall 2 in Australia – here are some:

Powerwall Alternatives

If you’re not necessarily sold on the Powerwall 2 and don’t want to wait for the Powerwall 3, there are many Powerwall competitors and alternatives you can investigate, such as sonnenBYD B-Box Solar BatteryRedback Technologies, Fronius, Mercedes-Benz, and Eaton Nissan xStorage

Our Solar Battery Comparison area will help – if you have any questions or would like some guidance please email us or simply ask in the questions below! While the Powerwall is certainly an amazing product, depending on your personal circumstances you can get a better result by using one of its competitors. The sonnenBatterie, for example, is onto its 8th iteration and powers 75% of German energy storage – it has a modular capacity from 2-16kWh and, amongst others, is definitely worth a look. 

Here are some other searches you may be interested in:

  • fronius solar battery price australia
  • ampetus energy pod price
  • tesla powerwall 2 3 phase?
  • zen energy battery cost
  • tesla powerpack price australia
  • imergy esp5 australia 

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Musk slams SA energy security target.

Despite the Tesla South Australia battery partnership currently being undertaken, Elon Musk’s Tesla has rubbished the South Australian government’s planned SA energy security target, saying it will “hold back technology innovation whilst incentivising incumbent technology … imposing barriers on innovation by excluding rapidly evolving fast response technologies”.

Tesla’s Mark Twidell wrote a submission to the government where Tesla expressed their dissatisfaction with the target, saying “We do not feel that the draft regulations and supporting consultation paper are representative of the current South Australian position as leaders and innovators in the renewable energy space”.

SA Energy Security Target Musk Weatherill
Happier times: Jay Weatherill and Elon Musk before the SA Energy Security Target was announced.(source:theadvertiser.com.au)

SA Energy Security Target

Multiple major organisations have harshly lambasted the SA energy security target, which is planned to commence on January 1 and will require retailers to buy 36% of their power from South Australian sources. This number will rise to 50% by 2025 and, according to Nyrstar, who made a submission to the government about the target, “given the generation market structure and in particular the high concentration of generation in South Australia and the high underlying cost of the predominant fuel (gas), it is debatable whether the scheme will be effective at reducing pricing due to these factors”.

As per an article from the ABC, other submissions range from urging caution because it may not lower wholesale prices, to killing off plans for a new interconnector which was slated to feed power into the state. Momentum Energy said implementation of this energy security target is “unlikely to have any downward pressure on prices, and will instead become a pure pass-through to customers”. Origin Energy called the legislation “unclear”, and Alinta Energy posited that such a scheme could add $100 to an average bill.

For their part, the government stood by the legislation, with the Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis advising in parliament on Tuesday that it will lead to “lower wholesale electricity prices”, and will in turn “incentivise more generation”. No word on how exactly that will happen but we’ll undoubtedly hear more from all sides in the coming months. Opposition energy spokesman Dan van Holst Pellekaan noted that “even” the Greens were critical of the plan, labelled the government’s energy policy as “chaotic” and called for independent economic modelling before “inflicting further pain on long suffering South Australian businesses”.

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Tesla South Australia battery partnership

A massive boon for South Australian solar today as Tesla’s Elon Musk and the South Australian government have paired with Neoen to create the world’s largest lithium-ion battery. The Tesla South Australia partnership will be a world first and comes off the back of a bunch of Twitter banter in March 2017 between Musk and various Twitter users (initially spearheaded by Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes), where he mentioned he is in discussions with the Premier about installing large scale solar in South Australia.

Tesla South Australia to create world’s biggest battery

The project will be 100MW (or 129MWh) and according to Musk on Twitter earlier in the year, it’ll be installed ‘within 100 days from contract signature or it is free’ – so we’ll be seeing the battery live and working this year! Jay Weatherill, the Premier of South Australia, was quoted as saying  “Battery storage is the future of our national energy market, and the eyes of the world will be following our leadership in this space”.

According to Nick Harmsen on Twitter, the battery will be built alongside Neoen‘s Hornsdale wind farm (currently 315MW), which is in Jamestown (mid-north South Australia). More details of the partnership coming straight from Heatherill’s office are embedded in the Tweet below:

The deputy CEO of Neoen, Romain Desrousseaux, said the project will highlight how large scale storage is now “commercially viable” and will also be able to provide “dependable, distributable power” – which was one of the main problems last year when South Australia suffered numerous lengthy blackouts, including last September when a freak storm damaged transmission lines. According to Weatherill and the ABC, the government had about 91 international bidders for the battery project, which could be used in the future to avoid load-shedding summer blackouts when electricity demand outstrips supply. Solar power (albeit as ‘energy storage’) being used to provide stability for the power grid is a new concept – and we’re very excited to see how it helps the festival state.
Elon Musk Tesla South Australia Partnership
Elon Musk announces the Tesla South Australia Partnership (source: ABC)

Tesla’s Musk was quoted today at a press conference at the Adelaide Oval as saying “It’s a fundamental efficiency improvement to the power grid, and it’s really quite necessary and quite obvious considering a renewable energy future”.

Tesla / South Australia Battery Partnership Reception

In an opinion piece for The Advertiser, Redflow CEO Simon Hackett has said South Australia’s 129 MWh Tesla project sets up the state as a world leader in battery storage. He also noted that it ‘confirms the integral role that batteries will play in the successful exploitation of renewable energy sources’.

 

 

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Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia Release Date, Price, Specs, and Competitors.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia Release Date

Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia 2018 update: you can get a Powerwall 2 in Australia from a number of different vendors. It depends on which state you’re in – they’re still in hot demand and there are a few states where they’re a bit difficult to come by. If you’re interested in the different energy storage options available to you, please check our solar battery comparison articles (or simply scroll down this article to learn more) – there’s plenty to read up on!

Also have a look at the case study on Gizmodo of a Melbourne man who says the Powerwall 2 will drop his power bill to $0.

According to the Tesla website, there is a ‘May 2017’ install date for Australia. Please note that this has changed a few times already and Tesla have moved the goalposts in other ways, such as removing the DC version of the Powerwall 2, so don’t bet the house on it. But we think Q2 2017 will see some Powerwalls in Australian houses! Watch this space and we’ll be reporting as soon as the first Powerwall 2’s start appearing in Australian homes.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia
The Tesla Powerwall 2 in action.

You can use the search function on the Tesla website to locate Australian stores, galleries, and service centers – just click here!

Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia Price

One 14kWh Powerwall battery is priced at $8,000 AUD. Two will cost you $16,000 AUD, and so on. According to the official Tesla site the ‘supporting hardware’ comes to $750 – and if you buy multiple Powerwalls you will only have to pay this $750 once. Please note this price excludes retailer/distributor connection charges which apply in some parts of Australia (more detailed information about this soon). It also excludes installation, which ranges from $1,150 to $2,900 plus permit fees, as per Tesla’s site.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Specs

The Powerwall 2 is substantially upgraded in almost every way from its predecessor, featuring:

  • 1150mm long, 755mm wide, 155mm diameter. (45″ x 30″ x 6″)
  • 14kWh battery (13.5kWh ‘Usable Capacity’)
  • 7kW peak power, 5kW continuous power.
  • Wall or floor mountable, indoor or outdoor.
  • 10 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Scalable (up to 10 Powerwall 2’s)
  • Integrated Inverter (converts the DC energy into AC energy you need to use in your house)
  • Liquid Cooling
  • Control and view your energy usage/storage with the Tesla app (iOS and Android)
  • Weighs 125kg (276 pounds)
  • Degradation – it will hold around 70% of the 13.5kWh after 10 years.
  • 90% ’round’ trip efficiency.

Earlier this year Tesla were taking orders for a DC (i.e. without an included inverter) version of the Powerwall 2 but this has since been discontinued. The only available version of the Powerwall 2 is the AC version with inverter already built. If you’ve already got panels and an inverter it might be worth looking at alternatives to the Powerwall 2. LG Chem produces the RES7H and RESU10H (follow this link to SolarQuotes who have other great information) with 6.6 and 9.3 kilowatt-hours of usable storage respectively.

Is The Tesla Powerwall Worth It?

Let’s crunch the numbers. Obviously costs and prices will differ from household to household so plug in your own costs to see if a Tesla Powerwall is right for you. Let’s assume you can store the maximum of 13.5kwh each day, and you’ve changed your power plan to peak/offpeak (read more here). Let’s also assume an installation cost of $10,000 AUD ($8,750 to Tesla and $1,250 to cover installation and connection charges / permit fees).

The current off-peak price is around 10c/kWh and the peak price 30c/kWh (in comparison to the ‘standard’ everyday price of ~25c/kWh).

If you were to use all 13.5kWh in peak times, this would save you $2.70 a day, or $985.50 p.a.  (30c – 10c = 20c) (20 c x 13.5) (2.70 x 365).

By the 10th year, assuming the stated 30% degradation, you would have 9.45kWh which represents a saving of $1.89 a day, or $689.85 p.a.

You can use NREL’s PVWatts calculator to find out exactly how much sun you can expect at your residence. It’s a bit complicated but an amazing tool for those who want to get granular about the postential for solar savings.

Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia is only useful for some people at this point in time – solar panel and energy storage technology is coming along in leaps and bounds so this will only get more economical. There are also other options that may suit your individual circumstances.

Tesla Powerwall Competitors and Alternatives

There are a number of Tesla Powerwall alternatives – some would argue that you’re paying for the ‘prestige’ of the name. Always do your research before you buy something based on advertising or what your friends say – solar and solar storage come down to your individual requirements. It’s definitely worthwhile to carefully measure the numbers before you commit to anything!

And without further ado, have a look at some of your other choices – they may not be as sleek, but utilitarian can be sexy too:

Redflow Zinc Bromide ZBM2 – 10kWh ‘flow’ battery (click to view)

Redflow ZBM2 Flow
Redflow ZBM2 Zinc Bromide 10kWh Flow Battery
  • 10 kWh capacity.
  • 100% usable capacity
  • Warranty for 36,500 kWh or 10 years.
  • Flat voltage curve (charge 100% capacity with constant power – unlike lithium ion)
  • Web based management system with MODBUS communication software.
  • 240kg with electrolyte.

LG Chem RESU (Residential Energy Storage Unit)

LG Chem RESU
LG Chem RESU Energy Storage
  • 3 48volt DC models (RESU3.3, RESU6.5, RESU10).
  • 2 400v models (RESU7H, RESU10H).
  • Lithium Ion technology with 90-95% usable capacity.
  • On grid / Off grid installation options.
  • AC/DC coupling available, depending on your solar panels.
  • Much smaller than the Powerwall.
  • Easy installation.

SonnenBatterie Eco 8.2 battery system (click to view)

SonnenBatterie Eco Australia
SonnenBatterie Eco 8.2
  • 4-16kWh capacity (modular design which increases in 2kWh increments).
  • Easy to retrofit to your existing panels.
  • Compatible with all panels.
  • 10year / 10,000 cycle warranty.
  • 2.5 cycles per day (2.5x ‘value’ and faster payback).
  • Inverter included.
  • Online management with ‘self learning algorithm’ (automatically decides the best times to charge and supply).
  • Proper UPS and automatic blackout protection with SonnenBatterie Protect 1300.
  • Reliable supplier who has been making these batteries since 2008.

Fronius Energy Package (click to view)

 Fronius Energy Package Solarwall.
Fronius Energy Package Solarwall
  • Six products configured in blocks of 1.5kWh (Fronius Solar Battery 4.5, 6.0, 7.5, 9.0, 10.5, 12.0 with 3.6, 4.8, 6.0, 7.2,8.4 and 9.6 kWh respectively)
  • Lithium Iron Phosphate technology.
  • Indoor installation required.
  • LiFePO4 battery technology.
  • AC integrated (hybrid) inverter – store the power as DC until you need it: extra efficiency – all the benefits of both AC and DC coupling!
  • 2 cycles per day.
  • They have a current rebate offer for purchase orders placed before July 31, 2017.

Enphase AC battery / storage system (click to view)

Enphase AC Storage System
Enphase AC Storage System
  • 1.2kWh capacity (modular – so install as many as you need – 1.2kWh won’t get you far).
  • Roundtrip cell efficiency: 96%.
  • Online monitoring software.
  • 2 cycles per day (double ‘value’ and faster payback).
  • Lithium-iron phosphate material and prismatic cells from Eliiy Power.
  • AC only – no high voltage DC involved in system (microinverters under the solar panels convert DC to AC – click here to read more).
  • Over 17,000 Enphase systems installed in Australia.

Global NRG silicone rechargeable battery (click to view)

Global NRG Silicone Rechargeable Battery
Global NRG Silicone Rechargeable Battery
  • Touted as the ‘first green battery in the world’.
  • Silicate Compound electrolyte.
  • Rapid charging time.
  • Their website is extremely poor but we’re following this one with interest too.

BYD B-Box (click to view)

BYD B-Box Australia
BYD B-Box Australia
  • BYD are the biggest supplier of lithium ion batteries in the world (market cap of ~$22b)
  • Modular design
  • 2.4KwH – 10KwH (B-Box 2.5, B-Box 5.0, B-Box 7.5, B-Box 10.0)
  • Safe lithium Iron Phosphate material
  • Needs a hybrid inverter (purchase separately from SMA, GoodWe, SolaX, and Victron)
  • AC/DC Coupling.
  • B-Box 10 can supply 10.24kilowatts of power continuously (much higher than almost every other battery if this is important to you – but please note this depends on inverter choice as well)
  • Peak power 20kilowatts for 3 minutes (also depends on inverter choice).
  • Indoor or outdoor installation.

Eaton Nissan xStorage

Eaton Nissan xStorage
Eaton Nissan xStorage
  • 4.2kWh, 6kWh, and 9.6kWh options available.
  • Single Phase / Three Phase Compatible
  • 10 Year Warranty
  • Inverter Included
  • 97% system efficiency
  • Smartphone connectivity
  • Price includes installation (in UK/EU)
  • Not currently available in Australia

Tesla Powerwall 2 Australia Installation

Tesla Powerwall 2’s are being installed in Australia right now. Read our Tesla Powerwall 2 Installation overview!

 Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date

No word yet about the Powerwall 3, but as soon as there are any whispers, we’ll have them here. Compared to Powerwall 1, the Powerwall 2 has 40% more peak power, 50% more continuous power, double the storage capacity, an included inverter, and all for the same price. For some people it’s a viable cost-saving option – so if the Powerwall 3 can come even close to some of these improvements from the previous models, we’ll be well on our way for it to be a no brainer to have a solar PV system + energy storage on every roof in the country.

 Tesla Powerwall 2 New Zealand Installation and Price

According to FutureFive, the first New Zealand installation of a Tesla Powerwall 2 occured on August 24, 2017, in a Queenstown home. It was installed by Vector subsidiary PowerSmart Solar and they expect to install many more over the coming months. PowerSmart will also be installing New Zealand’s second Powerwall 2, but after that there are a number of other suppliers who are Tesla Certified and will be offering the product to Kiwis.

The RRP for a Tesla Powerwall 2 (including a Tesla Gateway) is $18,000 NZD for a single 14kWh (13.5 usable kWh) device.

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