Tesla and company founder Elon Musk are surprisingly cautious about a current project: The company is building a large energy storage facility in Texas to prevent future situations like a few weeks ago.
A surprisingly severe cold snap had caused frost and snow in the southern state of the USA. The infrastructure in the region is not designed for this at all and so the power grid collapsed almost completely when, on the one hand, electrical heating was switched on in large quantities and the natural gas and wind power plants had to struggle with failures.
Such problems, but also minor fluctuations in future power grids with a mix of decentralized electricity from renewable sources, can be dealt with grid storage systems that are switched on at short notice. Tesla is now building such a system based on batteries near Houston. If required, this should be able to feed up to 100 megawatts into the power grid within a short period of time – however, over what period is unclear, as reported by the Bloomberg news agency.
In most cases, this supply power does not have to be maintained for a particularly long time. Rather, it is about being able to intervene quickly in the event of short-term fluctuations until other measures take effect – such as starting up backup systems, which can take a few hours. Tesla has already built a battery storage system of a similar size in South Australia, where excess energy from wind turbines is stored.
Tesla’s involvement in the field is not uncommon. After all, the company has been more than just a manufacturer of electric cars right from the start. Musk has always relied on an overall concept for the implementation of the energy transition in the mobility sector – which is why the company also offers solar roofs for the charging station in its own garage and is also working on the further development of the power grids.
What is remarkable here is the reluctance of Musk, who is actually better known for quickly going public with such projects and beating the PR drum properly. So far, the name Tesla has been completely kept out of the project. At the construction site, you can only see a reference to Gambit Energy Storage, which only becomes apparent by looking at the authorities’ register as a subsidiary of the Musk Group. It is possible that it is clear to the entrepreneur that the impression can quickly arise that the recent crisis is only being misused for advertising purposes. The system should be ready for operation at the beginning of June and by then at the latest, more information should be available.
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