AEMO Chief Executive Says Tesla Battery Will Play a Big Role in Preventing Summer Blackouts

The Chief Executive of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Audrey Zibelman, expressed her concern on averting blackouts next summer. She further added that the planned development of a Tesla lithium ion battery in South Australia is a “very important part of our summer plan.”

According to a report by The Guardian, Zibelman assured during her speech at an industry event in Melbourne that the regulator would make sure that the project will be established within the deadline laid down by Tesla’s Elon Musk. She also insisted that not meeting the deadline is not an option for the project.

“I think the biggest thing to recognise is this – as we are looking at next summer, we are concerned. We are concerned about the amount of resources going in next summer, so the battery in South Australia, the gas plant in South Australia, the battery investments that Victoria are looking at, are all very important parts of our summer plan,” Zibelman stated.

She mentioned that the energy crisis in Australia leads the way to consider a new and flexible energy network. One of her priorities is setting the results of the Finkel review into a program that could, later on, be authorized by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

However, the Managing Director of AusNet, Nino Ficca, cautioned that the new battery should not be taken as the answer to the energy problems surrounding the grid.

During the same event, Ficca stated, “The battery in SA is a wonderful shift in what we can do but it is not a panacea for anything.”

Ficca added that his guess is that “we may find that we regret some investment decisions or lack of some investment decisions somewhere down the track.”

On Friday, COAG will hold an energy meeting and discuss various reforms and proposals such as “unpacking” the costs of energy and determining price signals within the market. “We have to make these changes and we do not want to waste this crisis. We want to move this stuff forward,” Zibelman added.