Tesla has launched its “next-gen Megapack controls platform,” which it claims enables faster deployment and commissioning of large-scale energy storage systems than its competitors.
Megapack has become the go-to battery system for electric utilities looking to deploy large-scale energy storage, whether to stabilize the grid or take better advantage of renewable energy.
The battery system has become popular due to its cost, ease of deployment, and availability at scale, but these attributes are not solely due to Tesla’s expertise in building battery pack hardware. In fact, we have previously reported on Megapack customers taking advantage of Tesla’s software platforms for energy storage, like Autobidder and Powerhub.
Now we learn that Tesla is deploying a new ‘Megapack controls platform,’ which one engineer frames as a difference-maker, enabling meaningful savings for customers. Chris Bowman, senior staff product manager at Tesla in charge of software and firmware for battery energy storage platforms, shared on LinkedIn:
Our next gen. Megapack controls platform, combined with our industry-leading controller-hardware-in-the-loop test services (our “CHIL” platform), speeds up and de-risks deployment of Gigawatt scale battery and hybrid renewable plants. This matters because time and time again, our competitors fail on control system commissioning, causing multi-million dollar losses and 3-4 month project delays.
In short, the Tesla engineer claims that the platform enables quicker and smoother deployment and commissioning, which is important since those large-scale projects are often worth north of $100 million, and delaying turning on the batteries can result in critical losses.
Bowman continues with even harsher comments on Tesla’s energy storage competitors, claiming that the companies are deploying “un-tested” controls:
Un-like our competitors, who deploy bespoke and un-tested RTAC controls, Tesla’s innovative control system engineers productize regionally specific Control Templates (e.g. North America, Australia, etc.) that are CHIL-tested and approved. Our approach provides EPCs with turnkey control solutions that work the first time; and, meet the needs driven by electrical topology of large plants, the interconnection type, and regulations.
Tesla has recently doubled down on its Megapack with a ramp-up of production at its Megafactory in California and a new Megafactory recently announced in Shanghai.
When the two factories are online and fully ramped up, they will produce 80 GWh of Megapacks per year – more than ten times Tesla’s overall energy storage capacity deployed in 2022. In the meantime, Tesla currently has a two-year backlog of orders for the Megapack.