The Northern Territory (NT) government’s tender for a new and improved $45 million 35 MVA (megavolt amps) ‘Big Battery’ for the Darwin-Katherine electricity grid has been won by Swiss-headquartered Hitachi Energy.
The Darwin-Katherine Battery Energy Storage System (DK BESS) is expected to generate cost savings of approximately $9.8 million annually and pay for itself within five years (or thereabouts).
Hitachi Energy Country Managing Director, Bernard Norton, said “Hitachi Energy’s battery energy storage solution will be part of an intelligent electrical ecosystem and ensure full utilisation of solar energy generation and less reliance on fossil fuels.”
Before adding: “This battery energy storage system will allow greater penetration of renewable energy in the Territory, helping to ensure a sustainable, flexible and secure energy system for today’s generations and those to come.”.”
The DK BESS is set to be built at NT energy utility Territory Generation’s Channel Island Power Station and service the Darwin-Katherine grid that services 150,000 Territorians (one in six of whom have solar panels on their rooftops). The DK BESS is expected to unlock more capacity for residential and C&I PV.
Territory Generation CEO, Gerhard Laubscher, said “The Darwin-Katherine battery is a cornerstone of Territory Generation’s Fleet Transition. It is key to unlocking flexibility in our fleet to better manage the increasing impacts of solar on the system.”
What is more, the DK BESS will reduce the Darwin-Katherine grid’s dependency on gas-fired spinning reserves and provide 58,000 tonnes of avoided emissions.
“We’ve backed renewables and so have Territorians,” said NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner, “they know renewables deliver cleaner, cheaper and secure power. The cutting-edge technology in our Battery Energy Storage System will reinforce the Northern Territory as the solar capital and comeback capital of Australia.”
NT Minister for Renewables and Energy, Eva Lawler, added that “The awarding of the BESS tender is a huge step forward in our plan for 50% renewables by 2030 – it is the cornerstone of our Darwin-Katherine System Plan. Our electricity will be reliable and stable, while also being affordable for Territorians.”
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