Britain used 6 giant batteries manufactured by Tesla to "help balance supply and demand" in the electricity market for the first time this week, according to Bloomberg.
The 6 batteries comprise a plant that can store energy from renewable sources that can then be tapped at times of peak consumption. The National Grid Electricity System Operator uses the backups to balance supply and demand.
Costs of balancing the market have risen over the summer due to the pandemic reducing supply and increasing volatility in usage. National Grid spent almost $1 billion simply balancing the network from March to July - marking an increase of 39% year over year.
National Grid is also using a new computer system that helps it manage new technologies, like battery backups, easier. Batteries need to balance taking in power when wind and solar are plentiful, and dole it out when the network needs it, or is running in excess of normal.
Battery technology is widely expected to become the standard for power grid backups in years to come. The projects are generally much smaller than gas fired units.
Roisin Quinn, head of national control and chief engineer at National Grid concluded: "National Grid is trying to “open the market to a wider range of providers and technologies, increase competition for balancing services and bring better value for consumers – and it will take us a step closer to being able to operate the grid with zero carbon by 2025.”
Recall, Tesla has an upcoming "Battery Day" on September 22, 2020, where the company will be showcasing new battery technology. Excitement is muted compared to previous events, with even MarketWatch warning: "Musk may promise things that are far away".
Who knows, maybe Musk will take a page out of Trevor Milton's book and roll a battery down a hill...