Mercury NZ picks Tesla for ground-breaking battery trial

Tesla power packs

SEANZ Member Mercury has chosen Tesla to install New Zealand’s first national grid-connected battery. 

Tesla has been confirmed as the battery provider for Mercury’s scalable national grid-connected battery trial,
following a competitive tender process that began in September last year.


“We’ve chosen to work with Tesla for this ambitious technology development. Tesla has a proven track record in
ground-breaking projects around the world” said Fraser Whineray, Chief Executive.

Mercury is investing over $2 million in a 1MW/ 2MWh project to research the integration of battery technology with
New Zealand’s globally unique electricity system.

“Mercury’s mission is energy freedom for New Zealand and New Zealanders, such as offering new choices in the
ways that sustainable energy services are provided. Technologies like battery storage have the potential to
complement our country’s energy system as it supports moves towards greater sustainability across the building,
transport and agriculture sectors.”

The Tesla Powerpack 2 large-scale battery that will be used in the direct grid-connected trial is the same modular,
scalable technology as installed in Tesla’s projects in South Australia and Southern California. The trial will be
located at Mercury’s Research & Development Centre in South Auckland, which is connected to the national grid.
The site has the capacity to scale battery storage similar to the 100MW/ 129MWh capacity of the South Australian
Tesla system.

Mercury will explore trading energy stored in the battery in both the wholesale electricity and reserve markets –
another New Zealand first.

The use of large-scale batteries could help to store and redistribute energy available from New Zealand’s natural
batteries – our hydro lakes – to closer to centres of population, in this case potentially supporting the security of
grid electricity supply for Auckland.

The Powerpack 2 will be installed, connected to the grid, and ready to trade in the wholesale market in August
2018. This large-scale battery is a commercial-scale variation of Tesla’s consumer-level Powerwall 2 battery
product. The Powerwall 2 has been tested at Mercury’s R&D centre and will be available this year through Mercury

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