Powerlink activates ‘Big Bessie’: 50MW/100MWh Battery Storage System with Tesla Megapacks

Powerlink has activated a 50MW/100MWh battery storage system in Bouldercombe, Australia. Known as “Big Bessie,” the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is powered by 40 Tesla Megapacks.

Developed by Genex, the battery system utilizes Tesla’s auto-bidder software and will be operated by Tesla for the next eight years. This partnership guarantees Genex’s revenue and enables Tesla to maximize profits through energy arbitrage and frequency control ancillary services markets. Any additional income generated beyond the minimum revenue will be shared between Genex and Tesla, with Genex benefiting from substantial market pricing events.

Expected to be fully operational later this year, Big Bessie is projected to discharge 27,375MWh annually, enough to power more than 4,000 households. The selection of Bouldercombe as the battery site was strategic due to its proximity to Powerlink’s Queensland SuperGrid substation, ensuring efficient integration into the grid.

Barry O’Rourke, the member for Rockhampton, highlighted the significance of the battery’s location near Gracemere, one of Queensland’s top solar postcodes. Gracemere boasts over 5,278 small-scale solar systems with a combined capacity of 30,434 kW.

“This grid-scale battery will take renewable energy produced from local rooftop solar PV and other nearby wind and solar farms, and release when needed–delivering even more reliable, cheaper and cleaner energy for Central Queenslanders.” O’Rourke said.

By the end of 2023, once it reaches full operational capacity, this extensive BESS will not only provide ancillary services but also play a crucial role in ensuring the stability and reliability of the transmission network that serves over five million residents in Queensland.

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