Toshiba, winning solar/battery hybrid project contract in SA, sets sights on more opportunities

Japanese electronics giant Toshiba says it is eyeing more opportunities for large-scale battery storage in Australia after winning a contract to provide the battery system for the Coober Pedy renewable hybrid project in South Australia.

Toshiba will install a 1MW, 0.5MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) for the Coober Pedy project, which aims to cut diesel use by 70 per cent in the remote, off-grid outback town, famous for its opals.

“The vast tracts of Australia’s interior are home to many towns and communities that are not connected to the grid, and that rely on third parties to deliver fuel – a service that can be interrupted by bad weather and accidents,” the company said in a statement.

“Off-grid systems offer these isolated communities the potential to develop a self-sufficient power supply.”

The Coober Pedy battery storage unit will combine with 4MW of wind generation and 1MW of solar PV, along with the 3.7MW diesel units that currently exist.

Toshiba says the system will maintain power stability when there is no diesel running, and may also provide electrical energy storage or load on demand when diesel generators are in “droop” mode.

It may also be used to allow possible block shifting of excess renewable energy generation.

Toshiba said it would use the Coober Pedy project to promote its containerised – and thus portable – system and other equipment, saying it saw the opportunity for “widespread” use of large scale storage in “renewable energy situations” in Australia.

“Islanded grids have very low inertia compared to traditional grids and they can become unbalanced in timeframes of tens of milliseconds,” Toshiba said in a statement.

“The BESS will provide rapidly dispatch-able generation or load to balance the grid.”

Top image by CRPetersOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0 – Original available here.

© 2016 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson