At the end of 2019, the University of Queensland (UQ) had a Tesla Powerpack system installed in Brisbane, Australia. With a capacity of 2.15 megawatt hours and 1.1 megawatt output, it is now more of a small plant of this type – with Tesla technology, for example, is already being planned on a gigawatt scale in the USA . But the UQ is already getting involved with its Tesla Powerpacks in four sub-markets that save or bring in their money. In the first quarter of operation alone by the end of March 2020, this raised $74,000 (P3,758,460), the project team now reports in an evaluation.
Tesla batteries paid in 9 years
When installed at the end of 2019, the Tesla storage system was the largest customer-side in Queensland and made the university the first to participate in the wholesale electricity spot market, the report said . The total cost is estimated at $ 2.05 million (Php101,833,950). Extrapolated from the revenue of $ $74,000 (Php3,758,460) for the first quarter, it would take almost 9 years for the ten Tesla batteries and controls to be paid for.
But it may go even faster, because one of the planned saving functions could not be implemented by the end of March, according to the information in the evaluation: cutting off the peak demand. Large electricity customers pay, among other things, for their highest required output in a period. If a battery can contribute a part, the maximum value decreases and the costs decrease. To do this, the university has to determine its needs more precisely over time and program the Tesla system accordingly, the team writes.
Uni battery stabilizes the power supply
The three other functions are already active. The first of these is arbitrage: a tax system is designed to store energy with forecasts for electricity supply and demand at favorable times and to sell it more expensive when demand is high. This raised approximately $ 8,500 in revenue in the first quarter of 2020. With the second function, the UQ protects itself technically against short-term extreme prices on the electricity market, instead of doing it as usual with financial contracts: Instead of purchasing expensive energy and having it compensated by the contractual partner, this is prevented with battery reserves . First Quarter Value: $ 19,400.
The third function, which is already running, is to help stabilize the power grid: The large Tesla battery is paid for reacting to fluctuations in the grid , for example if a power plant fails. Revenue in the first quarter was $ 46,000, according to the report, making up the majority and exceeding previous expectations the most.
Homemade instead of Tesla software?
In all of this, however, the autobidder system for controlling battery resources offered by Tesla does not seem to be used, with which Tesla wants to become an energy supplier in the UK and apparently has much larger plans . Instead, the UQ document speaks of a self-developed model for supply, demand and reactions to it.