Tesla Looks To Be Building Another Giant Battery Pack In Australia

Image: Getty

As reported by Bloomberg, and again by Electrek, Tesla is in the running to build yet another of its giant battery Powerpacks, this time in an attempt to bolster Queensland's power station output.

Tesla's first Powerpack of this kind was built in South Australia as a response to the State's withering power infrastructure, which was tested beyond its extremes thanks to some pretty intense storms in late 2016, and then abnormally high temperatures across the state in 2017, causing mass power outages across a widespread area.

Despite only being active for a short time, Tesla's big battery has already proven itself, injecting a large portion of energy into the grid mere milliseconds after a trip in the system raised alarm bells.

The report also mentions this new battery may well be the biggest of its kind, meaning it would surpass the 100 MW/129 MWh pack that was only switched on late last year.

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    This is great news.

    I don't care if it's built by Tesla or some other company, but grid-scale batteries are a vital link in the chain of making renewable energy reliable and properly integrated.

      Not just renewables at that. They also serve a purpose of giving a buffer for spike use, easing the pressure on traditional power plants as well. Those spikes are also behind rising prices to the consumer, so should also help reduce our bills.

      Spot on though that they should be a vital link in the chain, if only to act as that buffer for integration. I'm so glad its worked as well as it has, and even gladder that they're pushing it in Victoria as well. The two battery parks can work in unison to smooth any problems either state has.

      NSW needs one as well, I think they'll be shutting down a couple of old coal plants in the next couple of years which is only going to increase pressure on the system, and cost to the consumer.

      Its something the rest of the world is watching as well, and if we can build a string of these around the country, it'll be a good blueprint for others to work off, and slowly migrate to renewables more.

    Labor really need to get over this one trick pony. They pulled this stunt for publicity in SA and it was nice. They set a short term world record. But it was at the expense of supporting Australian businesses. Who also made the same commitments that our lord and saviour Elon had made.

    How about Labor do something radical and actually support Australian businesses first and foremost.

    Last edited 12/01/18 10:21 am

      If you think the battery in SA was simply a stunt for publicity and a world record, you're sadly mistaken. The installation has already proven its worth as a functional part of the grid.

      The battery's size is simply a function of the purpose it was designed for - the fact that it was bigger than previous installations was a risk, rather than its reason for existing. If anything, it should have been bigger - but that would have been even more expensive, and would have taken longer to install.

      While Tesla was probably partly selected for the first job for publicity's sake, they also have an excellent track record of proven performance. You could hardly fault Weatherill for going that way, considering the practical and political risks of failure.

      I agree that supporting Australian businesses should be preferred in the future - provided that their alternative product is proven, and is competitive on price and performance. But this new project is by Neoen, not any state government, and they will be undertaking a competitive tender process for this new battery near Cairns. No doubt there will be bids from local and international suppliers, and may the best bid win.

      Last edited 12/01/18 11:30 am

        Try actually reading my comment.

        Did I say it was entirely for just publicity? no!

        My entire point was about supporting Australian businesses which had bids in to match the same time frames & cheaper. Labor are playing corrupt politics at the cost of Australia jobs all in order to gain publicity. Politics in Australia is so bloody backwards. So much money is sent overseas. The financial responsibility of our politicians are nothing short of corrupt. Within reason, we need financial policies in Government that prioritise Australian businesses first and foremost.

        The rest of your post is moot.

        Last edited 12/01/18 2:04 pm

          edit to my post has gone into moderator void.

          Can a mod please approve.

          @mark_d You might want to dial back the outrage a few notches.

          Your post began by asserting that 'Labor needs to get over the one-trick pony.' A few obvious points to make on this:
          a) Labor have zero involvement with this proposed new battery.
          b) The battery will be commissioned by a private company under a competitive tender process.
          c) There's no guarantee that Tesla will get the job. This article says that Tesla is "in the running" for the project.

          Secondly, you complained about Tesla being selected over local companies for the 1st SA battery. Tesla's offer won a competitive tender process, where no doubt price, timeliness, expertise and other factors were all considerations. It's likely that Tesla's reputation and resulting publicity were helpful. While you might not agree with that decision, it's hard to argue that with the results.

          Finally, I agree with the notion that local businesses should be given reasonable consideration to build national capacity. But in a competitive global environment, this is often hard to justify. Where do you draw the line? How much weighting should a local firm receive, compared to foreign suppliers?

            On face value it seems like they don't. However the $1.16 billion in subsidies they planned to inject into projects like this. Would have me believe otherwise.


            Being that Tender evaluation is not subject to publication. I doubt anyone can make the claim about how "competitive" the process is.

            There are so many economical reasons to bias local business when it comes to spending taxes collected from the local population. Yes bias. It is literally taking food out of the mouths of the population and burning it. Sure we benefited with a product. However a very large portion of that tax is figuratively burnt by sending it overseas. By supporting even bias local business: The population is employed. Money goes back into the economy which grows other supporting businesses. Spending of the employees supports even more businesses. Our businesses grow, become more and more competitive and can even begin to benefit from exports bringing in foreign income from overseas.

            In comparison we have a foreign company, which allot of US companies benefit from US subsidies and still do with our "free" trade agreement. Not claiming Tesla does, just using this as an example of how hard it is to be competitive against. Simply put we need to play their game. So when you ask "how much weight we should give"? A bloody lot to emerging Industry so long as services received. At least until the pipe dream of all trade is equal, occurs.

        The main article was a little vague, but further looking reveals yes it's being run by Neoen and it's going to be used as backup in a new wind farm project.
        So unlike the S.A. version, this looks like being backup for the farm supply rather than general grid supply in case of any other suppliers failing.

      If the Tesla battery had turned water into wine it appears some people would still be crying fail...

        God fu*king forbid Australia businesses. You know those people who employ you! Should get equal or slightly more opportunity to provide services to Australians. Than sending our tax overseas to line your lord and saviour's pockets.

          As the owner of an Aussie business (about 100 staff) I have to ask, where were these businesses offering to build the same 100MW battery cheaper and faster? And were they offering the same deal (100 days or its free)? I bet they weren't.

          It took balls for Elon to make the commitment, and its exactly that reason that he has had so much success. But don't let up on that good old Aussie tall poppy syndrome.

            Carnegie Clean Energy, Lyon Group & Zen Energy to name a few of the approximate 90 proposals. But hey, don't let facts get in the way of your narrative.

            Balls. What a joke. What business owner would not do due diligence before making the within 100 days delivery or its free claim... Plus the sheer volume of free advertising this project benefits Tesla is ridiculous. The type you can't pay for.

            You better get to work praising the pizza delivery guys. Good golly. It takes balls to make the offer.....

            Last edited 15/01/18 10:22 am

              I should qualify that Carnegie is not Australia based. However they promised to deliver a local end-to-end supply chain (including assembly) to supply and export to the region.

      I've got to agree in part. There are dozens of big battery bank manufacturers in Australia that offer similar setups. They have approached the state gov with similar proposals and have been rejected. Maybe it was the "or it's free" catch that got them over the line or even it's Tesla it's hip and cool.
      Either way the project has been a sucsess and I would hope to see future developments supporting our local manufacturers.

        I would have thought that if the Qld Govt is going to have some infrastructure somewhere that it would necessarily go to tender. That tender would involve at least three companies, the best of which would be selected.
        Further the article does actually say that Tesla is 'in the running'.

          Sorry I was more referencing the S.A. case.

          Last edited 12/01/18 2:06 pm

          Volume of respondents to tenders does not have a minimum amount. They could get only one for example because its already decided in the media that company X (Tesla) is going to get it. So they wont bother wasting thousands applying for a bid they will lose.

          3 words. Trail by media.

          That turns into popularity for Government because they're so hip right now. Nothing to do with merit and supporting Australian businesses first. You know, those people who employ you...

            Are you implying that the only reason Tesla won the tender is because Aussie businesses apparently couldn't be arsed bidding, despite their merits?

            Because you'd be dead wrong about that. They were swamped with proposals.

              Not implying anything. Just stating the facts about the Tendering process. Did you notice the part where I said "for example"? You can take it as you will. I was actually implying: Trail by media.

              Thanks for supporting my point by supplying reference to renew economy's article?

              Last edited 15/01/18 10:41 am

        This ^.

        Yes there are. Which is my entire point with the exception of Labor's bias in choice of supplier. To not support the myriad of Australian vendors is outright dirty..

          To make entirely unfounded accusations isn't particularly clean either.

            Yawn. Over 90 proposals, many of which were Australian businesses. Yet the media hyped organisation wins the bid..

            Do you have trouble reading this often?

    Good on Tesla and the Q government.

    Maybe we could talk Musk into building a Tesla factory here as well.

      Our labour would probably be too expensive. Unless he can make it all robots. Then, maybe...

        We're about on par with US auto workers. The have very powerful unions.

        Labour yes, however the great majority of Lithium is mined in Australia and there is currently construction going on in Perth for a refinery.

        Labor is expensive in Germany but they still have a thriving car industry. Just saying

          As with the US they are about on par with us, the German auto manufacturers are heavily subsidised compared to ours. In the order of 10times more than ours were.

            Did not know, thanks for the info. What about South Korea. Their wages are akin to ours. Read a story (I must admit a fair while ago) about their car industry and it was saying the workers made the same wages as here but the big difference was that managers only made 4 times as much as the worker while here in Australia, our management were taking a far larger cut.

              To be honest never investigated that myself, but as a trend most auto manufacturers are gov subsidised. I can't think of one that stands on it's own feet.

                The reason they subsidize them is because the car industry feeds smaller companies that produce wheels, seats, electronics and so on. It was really stupid of Australia to let our car companies fail because the knock-on effect will affect many many companies and thousands of workers.

    The commercial Tesla PowerPack & inverter they are using are also fantastic to use as a standalone smaller setup in commercial buildings and residential apartments or in our case a school Boarding-house.

    We installed the first ever Tesla PowerPack in a school around 10 months ago and could not be happier with the outcome.
    In the first qtr we saw over a 70% reduction in our grid supply requirements and run the entire Boarding-house using green power at night time, which is self-generated during daytime hours from our Solar PV array.

    These may be worth a look!

    Tesla was kind enough to make a video:

    And so did we:

    Glad to see QLD is following SA down this route.


    Last edited 12/01/18 2:07 pm

      QLD isn't following the same route, the way it is spruicked at times makes it seem like it's a state government initiative. It's a private Company. It could have happened in any state.

    Good! ????

      I meant it’s good. I’d be glad if it’s good for people on Earth to have a better life.

    Bring it on. So glad that qld is finally starting to go green. We were lucky that the recent election went the way it did or we would have abruptly done an about face towards the past...

      It's being done by Neoen. A private company it has nothing to do with state government at all.

      Needless to say, I feel we were very unlucky that the election went the way it did. If the LNP had only won, of course preferably with Pauline's and Katter's votes, we could go back to our good old cheap energy policy by burning nice cheap coal. All our gas could be exported overseas to pay for our oil imports, and the windmills could be recycled as scrap.

    I suggest reading the facts on what the battery really can handle. Not what just the left wing media want you to believe. Sure it’s a great product on a household or even a school but in those circumstances you are running really only lights, air conditioners and some appliances. Not what you would consider heavy power usage. If the power blacks out in SA the battery will only supply for a max of 3 minutes. Not much help if you are in the middle of a heatwave. If you greenies are are so concerned about climate change and emissions push for nuclear. It’s safe, clean, cheap once it’s setup and reliable. Have a broader thought process on this issue if you want to keep manufacturing and jobs in this country.

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