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Tesla to deploy another large Powerpack project in Australia after securing $25 million in funding

Tesla has been guiding “major growth” for its energy storage division in 2018 and the projects enabling that growth keep being announced.

The latest one is another large Powerpack project in Australia.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced today that it will match a $25 million investment by the Victorian Government to jointly fund Victoria’s first two large-scale, grid-connected batteries as part of the Victorian energy storage initiative.

Tesla will supply Powerpacks for the biggest of two projects: a 25 MW / 50 MWh battery that will be co-located and integrated with the existing 60 MW Gannawarra Solar Farm in near Kerang, Victoria.

The system will be owned by Edify Energy and its partner Wirsol. ARENA says that “it will demonstrate how an existing solar farm can be retrofitted with battery storage.”

Edify Energy CEO John Cole said:

We are very proud to have designed and delivered the first combined utility scale solar and storage facility in Victoria. It is unprecedented in Australia at this scale and is among the largest in the world.

It’s indeed one of the largest in the world, but it’s still smaller than Tesla’s 100MW/ 129MWh Powerpack project in South Australia.

The project is Tesla’s second major project in Victoria. It was also picked to build a 20 MW battery system to support a 204 MW wind farm at the Bulgana Green Power Hub in Western Victoria.

Along with the Tesla Powerpack system owned by Edify, the latest ARENA round of funding is also financing a 30 MW / 30 MWh energy storage system to be installed at the Ballarat terminal station.

It will be owned by AusNet and the batteries will be supplied by Fluence, a new energy storage startup launched by AES and Siemens to compete with Tesla Energy.

ARENA says that construction is due to commence this month for both batteries in order to be commissioned in time for the summer peak.

Electrek’s Take

Tesla is accumulating an impressive volume of energy storage backlog at this point and the company will have to deliver a significant production increase.

They have been deploying about 150 MWh of energy storage per quarter, but the current rate implies close to doubling that this year, which would require over 1 GWh of production at Gigafactory 1 just for the stationary energy storage products.

That’s on top of the ~10 GWh of annual battery production rate that Tesla needs to be producing by the end of the month in order to support its planned Model 3 production rate.

Tesla doesn’t use the same cells for the Model 3 as the ones in the Powerwall and Powerpack, but it still adds to the total output of the factory.

Clarification: to be clear, they now all use the 2170 cell form factor, but not the same chemistry and while all battery packs are made at Gigafactory 1, not all the cells for the stationary energy storage products are made there.

It will be interesting to follow the increasing capacity in the next few months.

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