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Six giant Tesla batteries keep British lights on for first time

To help balance supply and demand in Britain’s electricity market.
Image: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

A project using giant Tesla batteries was used to help balance supply and demand in Britain’s electricity market for the first time this week.

The plant is made up of six Tesla megapack batteries that can store energy from renewable sources to be used at times of peak consumption. The National Grid Electricity System Operator uses the balancing market to fine tune supply and demand to make sure they match exactly.

The cost of balancing the power market surged this summer as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic reduced supply and made usage harder to predict. National Grid spent 718 million pounds ($932 million) balancing the network from March to July to cope with low demand and high supply of renewable generation — that’s 39% higher than usual.

A new computer system used by National Grid has allowed burgeoning technologies like batteries to be used in the balancing market more easily.

The 7.5-megawatt Holes Bay energy storage plant in Dorset in southwest England is operated by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures BV and Harmony Energy Ltd.

Even so, big battery plants are still only about one-10th the size of a gas-fired unit. National Grid changed the rules last year to allow capacities as small as 1 megawatt to take part in the balancing market.

National Grid is trying to “open the market to a wider range of providers and technologies, increase competition for balancing services and bring better value for consumers – and it will take us a step closer to being able to operate the grid with zero carbon by 2025,” said Roisin Quinn, head of national control and chief engineer at National Grid electricity system operator.

© 2020 Bloomberg

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Sorry, but that system size is basically seconds of british energy grid. It cannot have any effect on the grid. There are individual businesses that would deploy a battery system this size for internal use

Correct. The article is typical of MSM false news these days. Bloomberg the master of disinformation. 99 per cent of people will go away thinking that Tesla has solved the energy storage problem and renewables will replace fossil fuels and nuclear power. The only thing these batteries do is prevent the grid from falling over when the wind stops blowing or the sun stops shining.

This 7,5 MW “giant” represents 0,013% of the British peak load of 57000 MW. It sounds like balancing a see-saw with an elephant on the one side and a mouse on the other.

End of comments.

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