Tuesday, May 19, 2020

"Tesla has a new product: Autobidder, a step toward becoming an electric utility" (TSLA)

We are not fanbois and can think of a half-dozen reasons why so many people are attracted to the immense size of the electricity market only to be stymied in their quest to make money out of it. The usual course is to then game the system to make up for the loss of profits from failed attempts to front-run demand.

On the other hand Mr. Musk has some tricks up his sleeve in the form of his experience with software-as-a-sometimes-lousy-service and AI that may mean he won't have to resort to the 'ol Phi Scamma Jamma of Enron and others.

On the third hand, if the crooked E's approach is where your passions lie,  see 2012's post "How to Manipulate Non-storable Commodities Markets" which links to a paper from the University of Houston's Craig Pirrong and which I described as "snappy" and this paper from Janet Netz, which at the time of the earlier post was gated, "The Effect of Futures Markets and Corners on Storage and Spot Price Variability" for a broader overview of what the Streetwise Professor is zooming in on.

From Electrek, May 3:
Tesla aims to eventually become a massive distributed electric utility, and we’ve now learned of a new product, Autobidder, which appears to be the next step in that direction.
Last year, Elon Musk said that Tesla Energy, the energy division of the automaker, is becoming a distributed global utility, and it could even outgrow its automotive business.

The idea is that Tesla would keep deploying more solar and energy storage systems, big and small, at the residential level and on utility-scale, and manage those distributed systems to act as a giant electric utility.

Tesla has developed software to control those energy assets, and now we’ve learned of a new one: Autobidder. It has apparently been used for a few years, but we are only now learning about it.
The company describes Autobidder on its website:
Autobidder provides independent power producers, utilities, and capital partners the ability to autonomously monetize battery assets. Autobidder is a real-time trading and control platform that provides value-based asset management and portfolio optimization, enabling owners and operators to configure operational strategies that maximize revenue according to their business objectives and risk preferences.
Tesla says that Autobidder is currently being used in Australia to manage the Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR), which is also known as the “Tesla Big Battery”:
Autobidder is succesfully operating at Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR) in South Australia, and through market bidding, has added competition to drive down energy prices.
While it is known as the “Tesla Big Battery” because it uses Tesla’s Powerpacks, it is owned by Neoen, a French renewable energy company that also operates a wind farm next to the battery system....