On December 1, Tesla’s 100MW battery system went online in South Australia after meeting founder Elon Musk’s self-imposed 100-day construction deadline. In the weeks since, the massive battery system has seemingly lived up to its potential as a reliable source of clean energy. When a coal plant tripped on December 14, Tesla’s Australian battery stepped up within milliseconds to keep the grid running.
Now, the giant Australian battery has begun to prove its financial worth. According to a report by Renew Economy, Tesla’s Australian battery system may have earned its owners, Neoen, around $1 million AUD ($800,000 USD) over the course of just a couple of days.
Currently, 70MW/39MWh of the battery’s capacity is reserved for the South Australian government to use when needed. Neoen has control over the remaining 30MW/90MWh, which they can choose to trade on the wholesale market. Based on the figures provided by Renew Economy, Neoen was able to sell electricity at around $14,000 AUD per MWh on January 18 and 19, while barely paying anything at all to generate electricity.
Australia has been plagued by power issues for the past few years. A combination of aging coal plants, extremely warm temperatures, and the unreliability of renewables such as solar and wind have led to soaring energy prices and frequent power blackouts.
Neoen’s South Australian battery system effectively proves that Tesla’s design is an efficient, reliable, and profitable solution to the region’s energy woes.
The two companies are already collaborating to build a 20MW battery in the Australian state of Victoria, and Neoen intends to develop a battery in Queensland that’s even larger than the one in South Australia, though Tesla has yet to officially sign on for that project.
If all three are successfully, these Australian systems could inspire other countries to pursue massive Tesla battery projects of their own, especially if renewable energy prices continue to fall.