Tesla now has a new product that is being deployed at its energy storage project in South Australia. It is called “Virtual Machine Mode”. It will be in partnership with France’s Neoen. The product is a result of Tesla’s efforts over the years to bring software products into energy products.
Tesla has been researching and bringing software products to energy products, taking advantage of the technology as its fleet is growing. Back in 2020, it was known that Tesla launches an unknown product, Autobidder. It is a real-time trading and control platform through which users can sell or buy assets like Tesla power packs. Later it was found that Tesla launched Powerhub, which is a monitoring system for energy assets.
Another such launch was Telsa Opticaster. It is “an intelligent software designed to maximize economic benefits and sustainability objectives for distributed energy resources.” Now Tesla has yet another energy software product called “Tesla Virtual Machine Mode.”
The product was revealed through Neoen, the French energy company that owns the Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR) in South Australia, announcing that it obtained approval to offer the “world’s first grid-scale inertia services” through Tesla’s technology. “HPR is the first big battery in the world to deliver grid-scale inertia services, thanks to Tesla’s pioneering Virtual Machine Mode technology.”
Partnership with Neoen
Neoen said that it is deploying the technology at the energy storage system in South Australia after receiving approval from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Electrek reported Tesla’s description of the Virtual Machine Mode. “As more wind and solar power replace fossil fuel generation, less mechanical inertia is available on the grid, removing a natural stability buffer in the case of a grid disturbance. Tesla’s Virtual Machine Mode is designed to address these stability challenges by virtually emulating mechanical inertia.”
Neoen commented on the deployment of the technology at the Hornsdale Power Reserve. “This landmark achievement is the result of two years of extensive trials and intensive collaboration between Neoen and battery technology provider Tesla, working closely with AEMO and ElectraNet, South Australia’s network operator. Together they completed the necessary studies, testing, and analysis to deploy this pioneering technology at scale for the first time.”
In 2020, the Big Battery was expanded adding 50 MW/64.5 MWh of capacity at the site – bringing the total to 150 MW/193.5 MWh. It showed a record 270 MW range after the expansion. The project has already proven to be profitable, and it has served as an example for other large-scale energy storage projects around the world.