Australia: Infigen to build PV integrated energy storage demonstration project18. July 2012 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends, Storage & smart grids | By: Becky Beetz
Infigen has begun work on a one MW photovoltaic and energy storage plant in Australia’s New South Wales. A first for both the company and the country, the demonstration project aims to pave the way for future utility-scale projects.
Located in the Capital Renewable Energy Precinct near Bungendore, the first phase of the plant will see a 200 kW photovoltaic array installed alongside an energy storage system, which will reportedly be capable of storing more than an hour of the solar energy generated.
Infigen has said it will use the plant, which received planning approval earlier this month, to "trial construction techniques, storage technology, and the combined operation and dispatch of the solar PV array and energy storage to maximise economic return."
David Griffin, general manager of development added that Infigen believes there is a "reasonable prospect" energy storage costs will take a similar trajectory to those of photovoltaic modules. "If that happens we are going to be talking about a very different NEM [National Electricity Market]," he stated.
According to the company, the plant is the first to be registered in Australia’s NEM. "The lessons learnt from this demonstration plant will be applied to the design of future utility scale PV plants and the integration of future large scale energy storage into the NEM," it explained in a statement released.
Griffin added that although the plant will generate enough energy to supply 40 average households, its primary purpose is to aid Infigen’s entry into the utility-scale solar and energy storage markets.
"Infigen recognises that energy storage will be a key enabling technology in the future of renewable energy in Australia. Distributed renewable energy facilities that are also capable of providing network support are expected to become increasingly competitive with traditional supply solutions, requiring continuing large investments in outdated network infrastructure," he said.
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