A $100 million battery storage project is set to be developed in South Australia, in an effort to demonstrate that grid connected stationary energy storage can be a cheaper and more secure option than new transmission lines or gas plants.
The project is a collaboration between RES, one of the world’s biggest developers of battery storage plants, and engineering firm Lloyds Register, and could be built next year, in a fraction of the time it would take to build a multi-billion dollar transmission line linking the renewable energy leading state with NSW or Victoria.
The announcement comes at the same time as RES and Lloyds reveal the result of modelling that shows inverter-connected solar and storage plants would likely have kept the South Australian grid stable, even with the tumultuous damage caused by the storm on September 28 that led to a state-wide blackout.
The modelling suggests that “wobbling” output of the gas generators might have been the principal cause of the instability in the grid that led to the separation from Victoria.
The ageing, slow reacting gas plants constantly overshot as they struggled to manage the system faults caused by the collapse of three major transmission lines, causing the grid to become unstable.
“(Grid) operators are faced with a huge challenge to protect energy generation supply and demand in extreme weather conditions,” said Jeremy Moon, the head of technical at RES in Australia.
“We understand this requires investment long-term and the adoption of new technology and solutions that enable sustainable energy provision now and in the future.”
RES has already installed 145MW of lithium-ion storage across the world, accounting for a significant share of the market in the UK and in the US, where battery storage is used to provide network services and help stabilise the grid.
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