Another grid-scale battery heads to South Australia

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South Australia is in line for another big battery that uses Tesla Powerpack technology, at Infigen Energy’s 278.5 MW Lake Bonney Wind Farm.

Infigen has entered into funding agreements with the South Australian government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to underpin a deal worth around $38 million (US$27.6 million). The state government and ARENA have committed $5 million each in grant funding and construction is expected to start within weeks.

The storage system will give Infigen at least another 18 MW of power, depending on the customer load profile.

“With the firming capability of the BESS [battery energy storage system], Infigen will be able to expand its supply contracts from the Lake Bonney Wind Farm to additional commercial and industrial customers in South Australia, which is at the heart of our business strategy,” said Inigen CEO Ross Rolfe.

The company will build and operate the facility, which will be connected to grid via the Mayurra substation near Mount Gambier, in the state’s south east.

Grid-scale battery could drive regulatory changes

The battery will deliver flexible capacity and system security services, such as frequency control ancillary services, to the state electricity grid.

“It is clear that grid-scale batteries have an important role in stabilizing the grid,” ARENA Chief Executive Ivor Frischknecht said.

“The co-location of a battery with a wind farm provides an opportunity for Infigen to pursue regulatory changes that could improve revenue outcomes for grid-scale batteries, helping to becoming more competitive,” Mr. Frischknecht said.

South Australia is already home to the world’s largest battery – a 100 MW/129 MWh system at the Hornsdale wind farm, which may be surpassed in size by SIMEC Zen Energy’s 120 MW/140 MWh battery project, announced as part of a 1 GW dispatchable renewable energy program.

Meanwhile, the largest battery project built in conjunction with a solar farm in South Australia, is the 21 MW/26 MWh battery system coupled with a 44 MW solar project near Snowtown.

Other sizable Tesla batteries can be found in Victoria, where a 25 MW/50 MWh battery is coupled with the 60 MW Gannawarra solar farm near Kerang, and a 20 MW battery operates at the 204 MW Bulgana Green Power Hub.