Australian grid operator adopts pole-mounted storage tech


From pv magazine Australia

Ausgrid said that a 30 kVA/60 kWh EcoStore pole-mounted storage system in Maitland, Australia, will support all properties connected to the local distribution network, helping to maximize the value of rooftop solar energy while also improving grid reliability.

The EcoStore battery energy storage system, supplied by Queensland-based manufacturer EcoJoule Energy, features three pole-mounted cabinets, each containing a 10 kVA/21.9 kWh battery coordinated to operate as a three-phase system. Ecojoule said the system is fitted with in-built network support technology which can improve the voltage delivered to consumers as well as reduce phase unbalance.

The Maitland battery is the first of several pole-mounted community battery energy storage systems that Ausgrid plans to deploy with additional pole-top batteries to be installed at strategic locations across its distribution network in the coming weeks.

Ausgrid said the trial of pole-mounted batteries will complement the network operator’s larger community battery program and will improve its understanding of solutions to support the growth of renewable energy in its networks.

Junayd Hollis, Ausgrid’s asset management executive general manager, said he expects the trial to demonstrate the ability of pole-mounted battery energy storage systems to improve network hosting capacity, reduce voltage imbalance and manage peak loads.

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“Pole-top batteries will play a crucial role in integrating more renewable energy into the grid,” he said. “They can store excess energy generated during periods of high production and release it during times of low production or high demand.”

Hollis said that if successful, the pole-top battery systems could eliminate the need for more extensive network augmentation that would otherwise be necessary to address network constraints.

The installation of the pole-top battery comes just days after Ausgrid announced that it is partnering with the federal government to deliver six new community batteries for Sydney and Central Coast communities.

The projects are being jointly funded and planned in partnership with Ausgrid and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water’s Community Batteries for Household Solar Program. The batteries will be installed in Bondi, Cabarita, Cammeray, Narara, North Epping, and Warriewood.

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