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Revealed: True cost of Tesla big battery, and its government contract

Revealed: True cost of Tesla big battery, and its government contract, Giles Parkinson, 21 September 2018

New light has been shed on one of the great mysteries of the Australian electricity sector – the actual cost, contract details and merchant revenues of the most exciting new addition to the main grid in the last decade, the Tesla big battery.


The Tesla big battery will actually earn significantly more than that because the 100MW/129MWh battery only has 70MW of capacity (and a small amount of storage) contracted to the South Australia government.

Another 30MW, and about 90MWh of storage, is able to play in the merchant market, selling electricity on to the wholesale market by time-shifting the output of wind, or by arbitraging spikes in prices. It also plays in the frequency and ancillary services market (FCAS).

The Tesla battery’s earnings were included in the Australian wind division’s total revenues of €45.2 million in sales in the first half of 2018, up from €18.2 million for the same period last year. This reflected the addition of the battery, and the completion of the second and third stages of the neighbouring 317MW Hornsdale wind farm.



This Hornsdale wind farm 100MW/129MWh battery is a far cry from California bold announcement for its tall order of California sees solar+storage domination by 2030 with 11 GW / 44 GWh of batteries.   A battery recently approved by the New York State Public Service Commission is a 316 MW / 2528 MWh 8 hour energy storage facility.



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