Battery-powered pizza: Beating network squeeze with 10 Tesla Powerwalls


A Domino’s Pizza franchise in the western Sydney suburb of Plumpton has laid claim to the world’s largest commercial Tesla Powerwall 2 battery storage system, after installing 10 of the US company’s 13.5kWh units – and not to store rooftop solar power, but to get around an existing network supply problem.
According to Chris Williams, whose company Natural Solar installed the battery system, the newly established Domino’s Plumpton hit a snag when it discovered its electricity load requirement outweighed the capability of the current network.
After much consultation and consideration, the decision was made to install the 135kWh Powerwall 2 array to avoid what would have been a very expensive grid upgrade. Indeed, the cost of the batteries will be half the the cost of the grid upgrade.
The system works by storing power from the grid overnight – when prices are cheaper and the store is closed – and using this stored power to cook pizzas during the day.
Williams says the system, which is already functioning, can store enough energy over the course of a year to cook more than 90,000 pizzas and 27,000 loaves of garlic bread – and without having to change the infrastructure of the grid, or indeed pay for that privilege.
“We are seeing this type of enquiry more and more,” Williams told One Step Off The Grid on Friday – “a new company moving into a new premises where the load outweighs the network.
“(Adding battery storage) is a solution where the savings are immediate, because the alternative – upgrading network connection and local grid infrastructure – is far more expensive.”
And it’s not a bad solution for the network, either, to have local businesses shifting load from peak to off-peak.
Williams says a battery solution also offers small businesses like these flexibility, in that they can opt to add solar later on, or even take the batteries with them if they move to another location.

“In the past 12 months, commercial enquiries for Natural Solar have increased by more than 1000%,” Williams said. “We are only expecting this to grow as the battery storage revolution continues to take hold.”
Domino’s CEO Australia/New Zealand Nick Knight said the company was pleased with the innovative approach used in the new store.
“It excites me to see Domino’s stores and franchisees leap at the opportunity to be at the forefront of innovation and technology to support the everyday running of their stores and businesses,” Knight said.
“We are testing the initiative and if all goes well, we look forward to seeing more Franchisees consider renewable energy solutions in order to power their stores.”
Williams added: “There is no doubt that customers who order their pizza from Domino’s Plumpton are supporting the future of renewable energy and battery power in Australia.
“At Natural Solar we are looking forward to the sweet taste of battery powered pizza from many more stores around the country.”

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