Vector’s non-regulated commercial arm, Vector Energy Solutions says it has implemented the first integration in Australasia of Tesla battery storage with a wind power electricity generation system, for Dominion Salt’s salt manufacturing factory at Lake Grassmere, at the top of the South Island.
A 250kW Telstra Powerpack battery capable of delivering 570 kilowatt hours of energy has been integrated with Dominion Salt’s 660kW wind turbine. Vector estimates the combined system, scheduled to be fully functional before the end of the year, will provide 75 percent of the site’s energy needs.
For Dominion Salt grid independence is particularly important because its location in an earthquake zone means there is likelihood of it losing grid power.
Vector’s group general manager development, Brian Ryan, said the control system had been built specifically for Dominion Salt and enabled 24/7 remote monitoring of the installation.
He said the battery had been configured to correct the power factor and therefore optimise power usage. Power factor in an alternating current system is a function of the phase difference between the current and voltage. Inductive loads such as motors cause the current to lag the voltage and reduce the overall efficiency of the system. This phase difference can be reduced by adding a capacitive load, which causes current to lead voltage.
South Australian system coming soon
The Dominion Salt installation might be the first in the region to integrate a Tesla battery with wind power but it will soon be dwarfed by a system being installed in South Australia that will be the world’s largest. It will combine a 100MW Telstra battery capable of delivering 129 megawatt hours of energy with the 315MW Hornsdale wind farm.
Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk promised to have the system operational within 100 days of a contract being signed, or to provide it at no charge. That project is slated for completion in December so could beat Vector’s to becoming the first such operational system in the region.