Tesla outs new Megapack battery for massive, modular clean energy storage
Two short years ago, Tesla pieced together the world's largest battery for the state of South Australia, and with great effect. The company is continuing its moves in this space with a massive new battery dubbed the Megapack, of which it says enough units can be linked together to take energy storage into the giga-scale realm.
The 129-MWh facility Tesla built for South Australia is the largest lithium-ion battery in the world and proved its worth within a month of being booted up, swiftly injecting 100 MW into the national grid following a fault at a major coal-fired plant. This averted the need to fire up comparatively slower and more expensive back-up options when the grid is overloaded.
These are known as peaker plants and, according to Tesla, can cost millions of dollars a day to operate, are far less efficient and pollute far more than regular power plants. The newly released Megapack is designed to displace these peaker plants by storing clean wind and solar energy for use during peak times.
Though each Megapack has a capacity of only 3 MWh apiece, Tesla says they are designed to be hooked up to one another to make a giant modular battery, much like its facility in South Australia consists of a bunch of its smaller Powerpacks – 1 GWh worth of Megapacks could power all of San Francisco's homes for six hours, the company says.
The Megapacks come fully-assembled out of Tesla's Gigafactory, with customers needing only to plug the AC output into the wiring when on site. It can also hook up directly to solar via a DC connection for wall-to-wall renewable plants.
The company also says the batteries are a greatly simplified solution for utility-scale storage, with a 60 percent increase in energy density and 10 times fewer parts. To that end, Tesla says they can be installed 10 times faster than current systems, and will take up 40 percent less space.