Industrial-scale Tesla Powerpack installed at Sydney depot
City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and TransGrid CEO Paul Italiano last week unveiled the first industrial-scale Tesla Powerpack battery to be installed and operational in the Sydney metropolitan area.
The battery is powered by more than 1600 solar panels on the roof of the City of Sydney’s newly opened Alexandra Canal depot, which will provide waste, maintenance and construction services for the southern city area. Installed by TransGrid as part of a trial of behind-the-meter energy storage, the battery and solar installation will power the new depot, home to 155 city workers and a fleet of 40 vehicles.
The battery is capable of storing up to 500 kWh of electricity — enough to meet the daily needs of around 50 homes and equivalent to the storage capacity of 50,000 mobile phone batteries. It will therefore allow the depot to be self-sufficient and store energy produced by rooftop solar generation, minimising the need for electricity from the grid.
“This agreement with TransGrid means that facilities like our depot can be powered by solar energy, even when the sun is blocked by clouds and in the early evening, when the sun is setting but demand on the grid is still strong,” said Moore.
“We expect the new depot will be certified carbon neutral, because on many days the solar panels on the roof produce more energy than is consumed on-site.”
The battery is managed remotely and in real time by TransGrid, which is trialling the ability to take control of the battery in times of peak demand on the electricity grid to reduce the need for investment in the transmission network.
“Apart from the 600 tonnes of carbon emissions we will save every year, this trial will allow TransGrid to better understand the impact on the grid as more energy storage solutions like our new depot are installed across the Sydney metropolitan area,” said Moore.
“As the mix of storage and generation on our electricity grid changes, solar solutions like this could provide reliability and resilience to our electricity network and potentially prevent blackouts.”
Italiano said large-scale batteries will play a large role in the future of electricity network services, with the technology providing the option of relieving stress during peak demand around the depot. The process, known as ‘demand management’, is aimed at reducing or deferring the need for new investment on TransGrid’s electricity network, ultimately reducing bills.
“By partnering with a site where this service is needed, we can provide a benefit to support the City of Sydney’s renewable energy goals and reduce the costs of the council’s depot,” he said.
“This initiative with City of Sydney will afford the depot a significant amount of energy self-sufficiency while also sharing benefits with the wider community through the electricity network.”
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