Vector's Tesla battery storage system has been opened in the Auckland suburb of Glen Innes in what the utility company says is a radical shake up of its electricity network.
Energy minister Simon Bridges today officially opened the renovated Glen Innes substation, home to Asia Pacific's first grid scale Tesla Powerpack battery storage system to be integrated into a public electricity network.
The batteries have a storage capacity of 1MW-2.3MWh - the equivalent to powering 450 average homes for nearly two and a half hours.
The batteries allow Vector to continue to provide power supply and defer a conventional upgrade to the substation.
"This move represents a radical transformation in how Vector manages its electricity network and responds to the need for innovative infrastructure development to support growing communities," the company said.
Its chief executive Simon Mackenzie said the battery storage system could help to reduce peak demand and extend the life of the substation, deferring capital expenditure and providing supplementary power to the Glen Innes area.
"By gauging trends such as household energy consumption, the effect of infill housing and the uptake of new energy systems, we can target growth areas and defer or avoid the significant investment required in a new substation,'' he said.
"And when connection or consumption growth requires a conventional network upgrade, we can mobilise the batteries to other parts of the network where power demand is rising," he said.
Technology such as the batteries allow Vector to better manage the risks associated with the $2 billion that needs to be invested in its Auckland networks over the next decade.
Tesla is working with Vector to integrate Powerpack solutions for customers across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. It building a massive battery production factory in California.