The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has instituted federal court proceedings against Neoen’s 150 MW/194 MWh Hornsdale Big Battery (HPR) – widely known as the “Tesla big battery” – for alleged breaches of the National Electricity Rules.
The AER said the South Australian facility did not provide the frequency control services it was paid for.
“Between July and November 2019, HPR made offers to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and was paid to provide market ancillary services which allegedly it could not in fact provide, including when required to provide those services after a frequency disturbance,” the AER said in a statement. “The services are known as contingency frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) and they are required to keep the lights on following a power system disturbance.”
The AER said the AEMO first brought the matter to its attention in October 2019, when the Kogan Creek coal station tripped in Queensland. The regulator alleges that HPR’s failure to be capable of providing the FCAS in accordance with its offers and AEMO’s dispatch instructions “created a risk to power system security and stability.”
“It is vital that generators do what they say they can do if we’re going to keep the lights on through the market’s transition to variable renewable generation,” said AER Chair Clare Savage. “AEMO relies on accurate information and compliance with offers and dispatch instructions to ensure it can effectively stabilise frequency deviations. Contingency FCAS providers receive payment from AEMO to be on standby to provide the services they offer. We expect providers to be in a position, and remain in a position, to respond when called upon by AEMO.”