October 22nd, 2020 by Johnna Crider
TransAlta Renewables has announced the commercial operation of WindCharger, a milestone energy storage project powered by Tesla Megapacks. The project just went live in Alberta, Canada, and is actually Alberta’s first utility-scale battery storage project.
The lithium-ion energy storage project has a nameplate power capacity of 10MW and a total energy storage capacity of 20MWh. This technology can thus be fully charged in about two hours (10 MWh per hour), and it will be getting its electricity from the company’s Summerview II Wind Farm, a 66 MW wind farm.
The project has a total capital cost of around $14.5 million, and 50% of that is being funded through the support of Emissions Reduction Alberta.
TransAlta will pay a fixed monthly capacity charge for the right to operate and dispatch the battery in the Alberta market.
TransAlta’s President, John Kousinioris gave special thanks to Tesla for being a partner in the project. “We want to thank Tesla for working with us on this exciting project. The completion of the WindCharger project is an important milestone as we progress towards our goal of providing clean, reliable, and low-cost energy solutions to our customers. This technology shows strong commercial potential and this particular installation has enough capacity to power all the homes in nearby Pincher Creek for approximately 90 minutes on only one charge.”
Earlier this month, a commenter shared that Tesla Powerpack pricing was down to $539/kWh, rather than the $750/kWh industry average that was implied in the article the reader was commenting on, and Elon Musk himself tweeted that the assumed price of lithium-ion batteries in the article was far too high. (The $750/kWh price was implied from a $0.21 per-cycle estimate for lithium-ion battery storage.) Confusion regarding the pricing inspired CleanTechnica’s Zach Shahan, in a chat with Elon Musk, to ask about the cost of a Tesla Powerpack today.
Elon pointed out that the Powerpack is an older product and the Megapack is what Tesla now ships to utility and heavy industrial users. “Powerpack is an older product. Megapack is what we now ship to utility or heavy industrial users,” Elon said. “The battery pack portion of it is less than $200/kWh. Power electronics and servicing over 15 to 20 years take the price up to roughly $300/kWh.”
Circling back to the WindCharger energy storage project, recall that the capital cost was said to be $14.5 million and the energy storage capacity 20 MWh. That comes to a cost of $725/MWh. As you can see, that is very similar to the pricing implied in the energy storage article earlier this month. This shows how fast pricing is changing. The WindCharger project is online now, but the contract was made several months (or longer) back. TransAlta Renewables just bought the project from TransAlta Corporation once it was ready for operation.
Other Tesla Megapack Projects
Back in August, the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA) chose Tesla for its first energy storage installation in the State of Qatar. The Tesla Megapack installation (1 MW/4 MWh) is planned to supply power at peak consumption and also provide power during off-peak periods. You can read more about that here.
Earlier this month, Teslarati reported that NGEN, a Slovenian energy company, added Tesla Megapacks to its current collection of Powerpacks. The Megapack, (15 MW/30 MWh) is located in the town of Kidričevo. Teslarati noted that back in 2019, Slovenia became the first country in the Balkin Peninsula to install a grid-scale battery storage unit — consisting of 126 Tesla Powerpacks that are capable of 22.2 MWh energy storage capacity in total.
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