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Tesla Powerpack gaining ground in Europe

Tesla's Powerpacks

Tesla has installed 140 Powerpacks in Belgium, with a similar project lined up for the UK

Tesla has added 140 of its Powerpacks to the European grid after installing them in Terhills, Belgium and sending them live on May 14.

The batteries have an 18.2-MW capacity, and by charging during times of excess capacity and discharging during reduced capacity, the Powerpacks promise to balance the grid 100 times faster than traditional fossil fuel power plants.

Tesla built the project in partnership with demand response aggregator Restore, which has promised to bring a similar, albeit smaller, project to the UK in the coming weeks.

Restore UK vice-president Louis Burford promised that the company’s business model, called a synthetic pool, will create value by increasing the flexibility of the electricity market.

“By creating synthetic pools or portfolios, you reduce the technical requirements on individual assets that otherwise would not be able to participate [in certain balancing services],” Burford told The Energyst.

The UK received a small installation of four Powerpacks recently. These were installed at the Manchester Science Park (MSP) with a GBP400,000 (US$540,000) investment.

Although a modest addition to the MSP, it can be scaled up with an additional 16 Powerpacks.

The project is similar to one in Australia, which has saved consumers A$35 million (US$26 million) after four months of operation.

It’s no surprise that Tesla will be delivering another Powerpack in Australia after securing A$25 million of investment.

With numbers like this, it makes sense that virtual power plants will spring up around the world, especially in large integrated power markets like in Europe.

Furthermore, it provides a proving ground for battery technology, which may easily translate into EV-scale batteries further down the line.

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