4MWh battery by Origin at a Queensland peaking plant

Origin Energy has revealed plans to install a 4MW/4MWh battery at its Mt Stuart peaking plant near Townsville in Queensland, in the latest sign that gen-tailers are starting ot see battery storage as a cheaper, more efficient answer to balancing the grid.

The LG Chem lithium-ion battery will be supplied and installed at the 414MW power station as part of an agreement between Origin and a Korean consortium led by Bosung Powertec.

Origin says the battery will help start up the plant in the case of major grid outages, while also supporting the integration of renewables in the region.

The utility says the installation of the battery is the first time a grid-connected battery in Australia’s National Electricity Market to be co-located with an open cycle gas power plant – although  an 11MWh Kokam battery was installed at Alinta’s 180MW Newman gas-fired power station, in WA’s Pilbara region, in April.

The battery at Mt Stuart – which is expected to be installed and commissioned in May 2019 – is expected serve multiple purposes for Origin, including the delivery of important learnings in the transition to renewables.“This… grid scale battery… will not only create efficiencies, but enable a reliable start up in the event of a large scale power outage,” said Origin executive general manager of energy supply and operations, Greg Jarvis.

“The battery will also help drive down emissions and support renewable projects like the recently commissioned Clare Solar Farm, by storing solar generation during the day and dispatching at times of peak demand after the sun has set.

“Our transition to renewables and shift to decentralised generation requires an ongoing focus on ensuring our customers have reliable and affordable energy and we’ll be looking closely at the battery’s performance to see how larger versions might be deployed elsewhere across our generation portfolio,” Jarvis said.