From pv magazine Australia.
Infigen Energy’s utility scale energy storage facility, near its Lake Bonney wind farm in South Australia, is getting ready to assume a major role in the decarbonization of the nation’s main grid and its road transport sector.
Collocated with the 278 MW Lake Bonney wind farm, the battery system powered up in October. The $38 million (US$26 million) storage project was delivered with $5 million grants from each of the South Australian government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
The system will deliver flexible capacity and system security services such as frequency control ancillary services to the South Australia grid and will enable Infigen to firm at least an additional 18 MW of power, depending on customer load profile.
Infigen CEO Ross Rolfe has previously stated: “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.”
Speaking during a visit to Lake Bonney on Tuesday, Dan van Holst Pellekaan – South Australia state minister for energy and mining – said the wind farm and battery demonstrated the state’s transition to a modern energy market. He said grid scale storage is crucial to making renewable energy work for consumers, including by increasing retail energy competition. “Assets such as the Lake Bonney Wind Farm and Battery provide reliable, affordable and renewable electricity to this state’s commercial and industrial customers,” he said. “It will allow South Australia to incorporate more renewable energy into the system and move towards net 100% renewable energy in the 2030s.”
The minister said Tesla is one of the new commercial customers supported by Infigen’s expansion into the South Australian retail electricity market.
“Infigen was recently awarded a retail contract to supply Tesla fast-charging supercharger stations with energy across Australia,” said Van Holst Pellekaan. “Not only will the Lake Bonney Battery use Tesla batteries to store energy, it will also allow Infigen to fuel electric cars at Tesla superchargers across Australia.”
Once fully commissioned, Lake Bonney will be the third big battery on the state grid, and the second featuring Tesla Powerpack technology. The Hornsdale Power Reserve also known as the ‘Tesla big battery’ was another project to win public funding – for a 50 MW/64.5 MWh expansion – from the state government’s $50 million Grid Scale Storage Fund.
The importance of batteries for the energy transition and to decarbonize road transport cannot be over-emphasized. A recent World Economic Forum report found that, in the right conditions, battery technology could reduce global emissions in the transport and power sectors by 30% – enough to hit the 2-degree Celsius Paris Agreement target. To achieve that, the global battery value chain would need to expand 19-fold, requiring an estimated $550 million investment over the next decade.