100MW Tesla battery in South Australia made $1m profit in just a few days

On 1 December 2017, Tesla’s ‘Powerpack’ giant battery in South Australia was switched on. In its first day in operation, the 100MW battery managed to switch on in milliseconds to keep electricity flowing across the grid after a coal plant tripped.

Eight weeks on, the giant Australian battery has begun to prove its financial worth. According to a report by Renew Economy, the battery system may have earned its owners, Neoen, around AU$1million (£570,000) over the course of just a couple of days in January.

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 AU$14,000 (£8000) per MWh on January 18 and 19, while barely paying anything at all to generate electricity.

South Australia has been plagued by power issues for the past few years. A combination of ageing coal plants, extremely warm temperatures, and the inconsistency 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.