Australian coal plant explosion shows why Tesla batteries and renewables are the future of energy
A Tesla Powerpack recently stepped in to save the day when a coal-fired plant at the Callide Power Plant in Queensland, Australia, exploded. Teslarati reported that the explosion resulted in massive power outages from the New South Wales border to Cairns, with more than 470,000 customers affected. The explosion also caused a cascading impact on the Queensland grid.
After the chaos that followed, the Hornsdale Power Reserve, a Tesla Powerpack system in South Australia, stepped in. The reserve was recently extended to 150 MW / 194 MWh. Teslarati noted that the giant battery was able to respond immediately to widespread power interruptions and quickly dove into some of the new battery tools. These tools include the ability to provide synthetic inertia, which allows the battery to help slow the rate of frequency changes that occur as a result of dramatic events – such as an explosion at a coal-fired power plant cutting off the electricity over a large area.
Renew the economy reported that Hornsdale’s power reserve responded instantly when the frequency in the network dropped to a minimum of 49.6Hz before increasing to 50.1Hz when the load was lost. The battery was able to do it in just two seconds. Think about this for a moment –– it took two seconds for a Tesla Powerpack to respond to a national crisis. We need more in the world.
The Hornsdale power reserve is owned by Neoen, a French renewable energy company. “This shows that Virtual Inertia Mode is hoping to catch these things even sooner,” said Neoen Director of Development Garth Heron. “This is the future.”
During a webinar hosted by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Behrooz Bahrani of Monash University spoke about the subject of inverters forming a grid – and where the Hornsdale results were prevented – noting that it was clear that battery storage can provide inertia and “system strength.” “He stressed that grid managers need to think beyond the old parameters.“ We need to go beyond synchronous generators, ”he said.“ We need to think about what batteries can do with other and not focus only on imitating synchronous generators. “
Heron said it was clear from testing at the Hornsdale Battery that inverter-based technologies can provide the same inertia responses as synchronous machines that are twice their size. The article noted that it reinforced the fact that battery storage has multiple skill and service levels. Some of them are not yet recognized by the market, but the trick is to get a control system that delivers the right battery response in all situations.
Josef Tadich, Senior Director of Engineering at Tesla, moderated the webinar and said batteries can be customized for specific grid conditions. This particular response has been provided in parallel with the traditional primary frequency control, power market allocation and black start services. In a post on LinkedIn, Tadich wrote:
“We have worked hard over the past few months to implement virtual machine mode (VMM) in the 150 MW Hornsdale power reserve. The silver lining of the recent “ Callide ” generator contingency event provided a useful data set to assess the true response of our inverters: a rate of change of frequency (RoCoF) of approximately 0.2 Hz / s decreasing and a frequency nadir close to 49.6 Hz.
As Giles Parkinson was quick to point out in the data, VMM mimics the response of a synchronous generator and provides an inertial response resistant to the change in RoCoF, injecting power during the frequency drop to minimize nadir and stabilize the transition to the primary frequency. Check re-establishment of the normal operating frequency band (NOFB). VMM also provides a voltage smoothing function to resist the change in the underlying voltage waveform, effectively providing a source of force to the system.
“The advantage of batteries is that these inertial parameters can be customized for specific grid conditions, and this response is provided in parallel with traditional primary frequency control, power market allocation and automatic start services. . This is a key issue the industry is working on as the market replaces traditional synchronous thermal generation and accelerates the transition to higher penetration of renewables.
Not only does this prove that batteries like the Tesla Powerpack can save the day when it comes to fossil fuel industry failures, but it proves that batteries are indeed the future of energy. Economic times recently reported that battery storage is cheaper than new coal power and noted that a new economic viability analysis has shown that renewables as well as battery storage in Tamil Nadu are competitive with new power plants charcoal. You can find out more here.