Renewable energy gains momentum

Date:23 April 2018 Author: Brendon Petersen Tags:, ,

Tesla’s been on a mission to renovate the way we power everything. The company best-known for making electric vehicles also makes renewable energy more accessible to our homes.

The Powerwall battery- a Tesla product – that stores electricity for solar consumption has a timed use for load shifting, backup power and off-the-grid use. It’s a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, stationary energy storage product that integrates with solar energy, and is a completely automated system.

A similar product was recently installed at the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). AMEO released an initial report in the first week of April this year. They seem really pleased with the new 129MWh Hornsdale battery system that was installed by Tesla in November last year. They boasted that the service provided by the battery system “is both rapid and precise, compared to the service typically provided by a conventional synchronous generation unit.”


What is a conventional synchronous generation unit?

It refers to a spinning generator, such as a coal or a natural gas plant. When there is an excess demand for electricity, these generators increase their output. There is a problem with this because these units need a little bit of time to start spinning at the appropriate rate. Batteries have the advantage here, as they don’t need to wait for ramping up, as they can start putting power to the grid immediately.


Luckily, AEMO has yet to use the battery to dispatch power in an outage or to a rapid rescue grid frequency from falling below 49Hz (a situation that would cause an outage). Instead, AEMO used the Tesla battery installation at the Hornsdale Wind Farm to provide incremental “Frequency Control Ancillary Services,” which add small amounts of power to the grid to make sure the frequency stays around 50Hz on average thereby using renewable energy to stabilise current energy frequency.


Global corporations have begun making the move to renewable energy, the most notable of which is Apple. The Cupertino giant announced that their global companies are powered by 100 percent renewable energy. This amazing achievement includes retail stores, data centers, offices and co-located facilities in 43 countries including China, India, UK and USA. Apple also announced nine additional manufacturing partners that also have committed to power all of their Apple production with 100 percent clean energy, bring the total number of supplier commitments to an astounding 23.


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