What are inertia services on an electricity system, to start with the basics? What is inertia in a grid configuration before that? Most of us should be able to recall inertia from when we were in elementary school. If friction weren’t there, an object’s natural tendency is to continue moving or, if it isn’t, to remain stationary. But until you consider how electricity is produced in conventional thermal power plants, that seems perplexing in terms of electricity. Let the UK’s National Grid ESO do the explaining
Many of the generators that provide power for the grid feature spinning components that may spin faster or slower as necessary and rotate at the proper frequency to assist balance supply and demand.
Our system’s inertia is the kinetic energy held in these rotating components. These components will continue to rotate even if the generator loses power, which will decrease the rate of change in frequency while our control room recovers equilibrium in the event of a rapid change in system frequency.
Similar to shock absorbers in your car’s suspension, inertia dampens the impact of unexpected road bumps and keeps your vehicle steady and going forward.
In order to avoid turning on outdated coal power plants to offer that function as additional renewables are installed, grid operators must find another source of energy to rely on in place of coal and natural gas power plants. Solar and wind power do not provide these inertia services for the grid. What use are renewable energy sources if coal power is always present to assist with frequency regulation and inertia?
Readers of CleanTechnica are well aware of how important the use of batteries is. To continue, I’ll rely on the following explanation of grid inertia from the UK’s Energy Research Accelerator : Grid inertia is a type of energy storage that corrects supply and demand imbalances on electricity networks over incredibly little time frames, usually on the range of fractions of a second to several seconds. While coal and gas power plants can help with those imbalances, actual batteries outperform them in terms of speed and capability in this situation. And now we have a significant, great example.
The Australian Energy Market Operator has given Tesla’s Big Battery in South Australia permission to offer inertia services to the Australian National Electricity Market. The 150 MW/193.5 MWh Hornsdale battery, also known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve, is owned and operated by Neoen, who claims that it is the first big battery in the world to offer inertia services. The Big Battery can offer the equivalent of 2,000 megawatt seconds (MWs) of inertia to support grid stability. Utilizing Tesla’s Virtual Machine Mode service, it does so.
The majority of us are ignorant of megawatt seconds. How much is this Big Battery contributing by entering the South Australian inertia services market? Neoen estimates that it will be able to cover 15% of South Australia’s inertia deficit.
Currently, a staggering 64% of the electricity in South Australia is generated from renewable sources. Around 1.7 million people and about 150,000 companies are served by the state grid.
Australia’s grid-scale huge batteries are in an amusing situation right now because the technology is capable of offering a variety of grid services, such as quick frequency response, frequency management, energy arbitrage, and now with more sophisticated inverters, inertia. The problem, according to pv magazine , is that no markets exist yet to reward this whole value stack.
We are happy to announce that the inertia at Hornsdale Power Reserve has been successfully deployed. This accomplishment was made possible by excellent teamwork. I would like to thank our staff for their hard work, as well as our longtime partners at Tesla, AEMO, and ElectraNet. Neoen Australia’s Managing Director, Louis de Sambucy, remarked. It was made possible thanks to the assistance of the governments of South Australia and Australia, through ARENA and CEFC. Neoen continues to set the bar high for battery storage innovation by being a pioneer in the supply of grid-scale inertia, demonstrating its support and dedication to South Australia’s 100% renewable energy ambition.
According to Daniel Westerman, CEO of AEMO, “the strong partnership with Neoen and supporting partners to create an inertia-enabled grid-scale battery highlights what can be achieved to assist Australia’s once-in-a-century energy revolution.”
Tom Koutsantonis, South Australia’s Minister for Energy and Mining, continued, “The Hornsdale Power Reserve was groundbreaking when we commissioned it back in 2017 and continues to play a pioneering role. It is paving the path for more, desperately needed large-scale storage projects in Australia and elsewhere by driving innovation in inverter-based technologies. A further demonstration of South Australia’s dedication to being a global leader in the adoption and integration of renewable energy is the activation of Virtual Machine Mode, a first for the world, which increases the capabilities of the Hornsdale Power Reserve and lowers power costs for all South Australians.
Naturally, Tesla did not provide a response for the press release because it does not have a PR department and does not value conventional PR. you do read their comments here is the place to go, though, if you want to watch other executive partners applauding themselves.
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