Tesla helps Kiwi company with mission of energy freedom

16 Jan 18

Mercury has announced a new collaboration with Tesla.  

Tesla has been confirmed as the battery provider for Mercury’s scalable national grid connected battery trial. 

The collaboration follows a competitive tender process that began in September last year. 

Mercury is investing over $2 million in the 1MW/2MWh project to research the integration of battery technology with New Zealand’s electricity system.

The Tesla Powerpack 2 large-scale battery that will be used in the direct grid-connected trial is the same modular, scalable technology as installed in Tesla’s projects in South Australia and Southern California. 

The trial will be located at Mercury’s Research & Development Centre in South Auckland, which is connected to the national grid. 

The site has capacity to scale battery storage similar to the 100MW/ 129MWh capacity of the South Australian Tesla system.

“We’ve chose to work with Tesla for this ambitious technology development. Tesla has a proven track record in ground-breaking projects around the world,” explains Mercury’s CEO Fraser Whineray. 

According to Mercury, the use of large-scale batteries could help to store and redistribute energy from New Zealand’s hydro lakes closer to the centres of the population, and in this case, potentially supporting the security of Auckland’s grid electricity supply.

“Mercury’s mission is energy freedom for New Zealand and New Zealanders, such as offering new choices in the ways that sustainable energy services are provided,” adds Whineray. 

“Technologies like battery storage have the potential to complement our country’s energy system as it supports moves towards greater sustainability across the building, transport and agriculture sectors.”

Mercury will explore trading energy stored in the battery in both the wholesale electricity and reserve markets. 

The Powerpack 2 will be installed, connected to the grid, and ready to trade in the wholesale market in August 2018. 

This large scale battery is a commercial-scale variation of Tesla’s consumer-level Powerwall 2 battery product. The Powerwall 2 has been tested at Mercury’s R&D centre and will be available this year through Mercury Solar

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