Former coal-plant big batteries win Australian storage tender


From pv magazine Australia

The winners of Australia’s biggest storage tender to date have been announced by the state and commonwealth governments, who opted to join the Long-Term Energy Service Agreements (LTESA) and Capacity Investment Scheme auctions into one super tender.

It resulted in six projects being selected to deliver a total of 1,075 MW of firmed capacity and 2,790 MWh of storage. The six winning projects include:

  • Akaysha Energy’s 415 MW/1,660 MWh Orana battery
  • AGL Energy’s 500 MW/1,000 MWh Liddell battery
  • Iberdrola Australia’s 65 MW/130 MWh Smithfield Sydney battery
  • Enel X Australia is set to deliver three separate virtual power plants through a demand response project totaling 95 MW of capacity

The projects are targeting commercial operations by December 2025 – the year the state’s biggest coal plant, the 2.88 GW Eraring facility, is scheduled to close. Its closure is set to open up a major energy supply and reliability gap in the state. New South Wales Energy Minister Penny Sharpe said specifically that the six projects will help to ensure “we do not need [Eraring] to be open one day longer than they need.”

The successful projects are required to deliver at least half their capacity in the event of a supply shortfall declared by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The projects from this tender alone are equal to 8% of the total 2022-23 New South Wales summer peak demand. They are underpinned by a 10-year agreement with government.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Minister Sharpe said part of the reason why the governments expect these projects to be able to be commercially operating within two years is because “they don’t rely on those very big transmission projects that we’re working with.”

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In recent years, shuttered power plants like Liddell have become extremely popular sites for battery proposals due to their infrastructure and grid connections.

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The November edition of pv magazine is dominated by the issue of global oversupply and examines the effects of a solar glut in the European Union, the United States, and other markets. We turn the spotlight on PV developments in South Korea, Taiwan, and Africa and update readers on technological progress in thin films, kerfless wafering, and mass produced heterojunction PV.

The tender was run by AEMO Services, acting as the New South Wales Consumer Trustee. The auction originally sought 380 MW of firming infrastructure and demand response from the market but was expanded to 930 MW after the federal government came onboard to support an additional 550 MW through its own storage tender scheme, known as the Capacity Investment Scheme.

To continue reading, please visit our pv magazine Australia website. 

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