Tesla supplied 30% to 40% of electricity to Australia for free because its batteries are too fast. The Australian energy operator (Australian Energy Market Operator, AEMO) simply does not have time to take into account all electricity. The company told the local edition of the Sydney Morning Herald.
Tesla Powerpack batteries are used in Australia as a backup source of electricity, when generators for some reason cease to work or do not cope with demand. According to Australian standards, in the event of a power outage, power companies must return it to the network in the interval of 6 seconds to 5 minutes.
The requirements were calculated for fossil fuel generators, which need time to get started, the specifications do not take into account the possibilities of energy storage. In Tesla argue that the company’s batteries react much faster than necessary: in just 200 milliseconds.
The energy in the batteries keeps constantly and the company simply includes its supply to the network. Thus, all electricity sent between 200 milliseconds to 6 seconds (or even more) is too “fast” for an Australian operator to register it.
The batteries in the Hornsdale Power Reserve center delivered between 30 and 40% of the services without payment due to the existing technical specifications of AEMO, which are intended for fossil fuel generators.
In March 2017, Elon Musk promised to build an energy storehouse in Australia in 100 days or to transfer it free of charge to the authorities of the country, if not in time. The company signed a contract with the government in September and completed the complex by November 2017. Mask admitted that half of the work was done before the conclusion of contracts.
The Hornsdale Power Reserve was launched in December 2017. It consists of wind generators and Tesla Powerpack batteries, which save energy in case there is no wind and are used as a backup energy source.