The world’s biggest battery, built by Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. in Australia, is doing its job too well. The response time for Musk’s Powerpack batteries to feed power into the grid when outages hit is less than 200 milliseconds, Tesla said in a submission to the nation’s energy markets rulemaker. However, the rules, written with large coal and gas generators in mind, gives them a leisurely six seconds to respond. That’s prompted Tesla to call for a shake up of Australia’s old-fashioned grid.
Like most Musk pursuits, Tesla wants things done faster. It’s called for a new system that address technical restraints and better values the dispatch of emergency power to the grid from fast-response technologies — such as its Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia that delivers electricity at lightning speed. Next, Tesla plans to get the world’s biggest virtual power plant up and running, presenting Australia’s grid planners with another challenge.