It’s a sunny part of the world with a lot of solar power feeding into the grid. In fact, there’s so much excess power generated during the day that the extra energy is now being used in a brand new way:
- Tesla, known most widely as a manufacturer of luxury electric vehicles, has installed 396 stacks of batteries, known as Powerpacks.
- Each Powerpack is around the size of a household fridge with 16,000 Lithium Ion batteries inside.
- These batteries charge by drawing the excess power from the grid during the day, then feed it back through connections to the Mira Loma substation as the energy is needed.
It’s all part of an emergency response to a huge gas leak that is expected to cause energy shortages in the area.
Mira Loma is a relatively small substation but there’s enough power in the batteries to power around 15,000 homes for about four hours. This is a huge help in reducing the demand on the grid during peak times, such as the afternoon and early evening when many people return home after work and school and switch their appliances on.
The Powerpacks are a big business version of Tesla’s home-based battery products. What’s really exciting is that this type of technology wasn’t available even five or ten years ago. It shows how far renewable energy technology has come – and how fast it can now be developed for new uses.
According to Tesla, they are on a mission to help the world transition to sustainable energy faster, through electric vehicles and renewable energy generation and storage systems.
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