Second SA ‘big battery’ switches on

A little more than six months after the commissioning of the Tesla big battery in South Australia, the state’s second major battery installation has begun commissioning.

The Dalrymple ESCRI battery – it stands for Energy Storage for Commercial Renewable Integration – is located on the Yorke Peninsula, half way down one of the state’s long, stringy network lines.

It is not as big as the Tesla big battery – 30MW/8MWh compared to 100MW/129MWh – but will be no less important to the local grid.

Like the Tesla big battery, officially known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve, which is situated next to the 315MW Hornsdale wind complex, the ESCRI battery is also located next to a wind farm, the 91MW Wattle Point facility.

But its role will be different to the Hornsdale facility, hence the different specifications.

Screenshot from the ESCRI website, which will display data about the battery.

It will offer grid security in the form of frequency control, but it will also offer be able to go into “islanding” mode, meaning it can keep the lights on in the local area, with the help of the local wind farm and some 2MW of local rooftop solar, in case of outages elsewhere.

It is billed as the largest indoor and climate-controlled BESS (battery energy storage system) installation in Australia, and the largest autonomous regional micro-grid development to-date.

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Giles Parkinson