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Tesla's giant battery bailed out a coal power station nearly 620 miles away
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Tesla's giant battery is already proving its worth, bailing out a coal power station nearly 620 miles (1,000 kilometres) away. The world's largest lithium ion battery, installed to alleviate South Australia's severe energy issues, was put to the test when it supplied emergency power to one of Australia's biggest coal units, reports Renew Economy. SEE ALSO: Tesla switches on the world's largest lithium ion battery Ironic, isn't it, that wind power just bailed out coal? According to RE, brown coal-powered Loy Yang Power Station experienced an unexpected loss of 560MW (that is a lot) on Dec. 14. That caused a frequency dip to 49.80Hz (normal is 50Hz), and so it was Tesla's time to shine. Loy Yang power station in Traralgon, Victoria.Image: Fairfax Media via Getty ImagesThe Tesla Powerpack, connected to Neoen's Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, three hours’ drive from Adelaide, responded by supplying the energy network with 7.3MW (the Powerpack unit itself has a capacity of 100MW).  The crazy part? Tesla's battery is nearly 620 miles away — Loy Yang is located on the outskirts of Traralgon, in neighbouring state Victoria.  And, according to Renew Economy, the contracted back-up coal plant, the Gladstone coal unit, which is contracted to respond in six seconds, had nothing to do by the time Tesla had sorted the frequency fall. Tesla's Powerpack unit in Jamestown, South Australia.Image: Liam West/Lightly SaltedAgain, a renewable wind energy source just bailed out a gross coal power source, and beat a back-up gross coal power source to the party. How. Baller. Is. That? Tesla's battery is contracted to work in conjunction with the South Australian energy grid, so it was (kinda) cutting Gladstone's grass according to protocol. “One of the significant advantages that the Tesla/Neoen battery has over traditional conventional fossil fuelled generators is its incredible speed and flexibility," South Australan Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis told Mashable. “When providing Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS), it can respond almost instantly to any disturbance on the system, as demonstrated in the battery’s response to unexpected tripping of the Loy Yang unit in Victoria.  "In fact, the battery recently demonstrated that in an emergency it could increase its output from zero to 100MW in 0.14 seconds.” Tesla isn't commenting on the battery's recent performance (they're likely right into a rather expensive bottle of rare Champagne right now). WATCH: You can now control your Christmas tree lights with your phone read more
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