SA to install 30MW battery bank

South Australia is set to install another large-scale battery storage system, this time to be located on the Yorke Peninsula in, as part of a renewables-based mini-grid with the nearby Wattle Point wind farm.

The $30 million, 30MW/80MWh project, which will get $12 million grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, is the result of a lengthy study begun in 2014 called ESCRI (Energy Storage for Commercial Renewable Integration) by local grid operator ElectraNet, Worley Parsons and AGL, which will operate the battery.

It is expected to deliver both network services and market services, with the primary job of providing fast frequency response to help balance the local network, and to reduce congestion on the Heywood interconnector with Victoria.

It will also have the ability to “island” the local network – pairing with the 90MW Wattle Point wind farm and local rooftop solar PV as a sort of micro-grid, to ensure grid security and keep the lights on in case the network failures elsewhere in the state.

The battery is expected to be up and running by February 2018, adding to the Tesla big battery which is due to be in place by December 1, along with up to 100MW of demand response, and emergency back-up generators.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht deployment of a series of mini-grids across South Australia would help ensure grid security; “it means over the longer term that state wide blackouts will be a thing of the past,” he told Reneweconomy.

The ESCRI study received expressions of interest from 42 international parties, and 17 formal proposals, including technologies such as lithium-ion, sodium-sulphur and advanced lead acid batteries; molten salt heat storage; hydrogen generation and storage; and a number of different flow batteries.

Project sizes ranged from 10-20MW and 20MWh to 200MWh, but as reported last year, the 30MW/8MWh configuration was found to be the most useful for the chosen location.

© 2017 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson