NSW transmission network to install 1MW battery banks for commercial customers

NSW-based Transgrid has revealed plans to install a number of 1MW-sized battery storage systems at commercial customers, in a major push into smaller, grid-scale energy storage.

Transgrid’s Anthony England said the company was looking to partner with commercial businesses – hardware chains, supermarkets, data centres and others – “with room for a container out the back and solar PV on their roof.

The idea is to deliver savings to the commercial businesses, and to the network itself. The customers will be able to do that by balancing peak and off-peak demand, and the network by using battery storage to address network bottlenecks that would otherwise require expensive infrastructure upgrades.

“We’d like to use storage to address network capacity limits – which are only hit several times year when things get tight,” England said at the Australian Energy Storage conference last week.

England suggests that it is only the start of what might be possible – if regulations allow.

“Once we get into this space, we can take learnings from the installation, the performance and the algorithms … and start to think how to unlock larger scale applications – not just to address network capital expenditure and the opportunity to defer that spending, but also to look at some edge of grid possibilities.”

This means removing towns’ electricity needs away from the network as “primary supply”. Inline image 1England said he would be happy to see the regulator “unlock that value chain so we can have competition on network sources. But we also get to play in retail space with customers.

“The challenge we face is our regulatory and policy arrangement. It is not keeping pace. It is not happening fast enough. The market is changing faster than we can conceive.”

© 2016 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson