The UK only received its first Tesla Megapack installation back in July, but the technology is already being used to balance the National Grid.
Tesla’s first deployment of the Megapack on UK shores is in Hole Bay, just outside Poole in Dorset. The site features six Megapack energy storage batteries, with a capacity of 15 MWh. That’s enough to power 30,000 homes, although the energy storage was installed specifically to provide flexibility to the grid.
Now it seems that the National Grid is finally leveraging those six Tesla Megapack batteries. That comes at a great cost benefit to the National Grid Electricity System Operator, as battery energy storage devices tend to cost considerably less than using coal fire stations or other grid balancing methods.
In fact, due to a spend of £718 million on balancing the network from March to July to cope with low demand, which was 39% higher than usual, the National Grid could lean more on battery energy storage, like the Tesla Megapack installation in Dorset, a lot more often. Already Cornwall Insight has seen evidence that battery energy storage is being utilised for grid balancing more than ever.
The reason behind the boost in usage for battery energy storage is because of a new control room API, which can link into technology such as Tesla’s Autobidder. This simplifies the process of using battery energy storage for grid balancing.
In a statement to The Energyst, Roisin Quinn, chief engineer at National Grid ESO, commented, “The API will 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.”
Net zero goal
The National Grid needs to benefit from energy storage in order to achieve its goal of operating the grid with zero carbon by 2025. The decarbonisation of the grid will also be an important factor in the UK Government’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.