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Fri September 24 2021

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State of Victoria signs contract for giant battery

23 Mar 18 A utility-scale battery-based energy storage system is to be built in the Australian state of Victoria to boost the use of renewable energy.

A Spotless, AusNet Services, EnergyAustralia and Fluence has today signed a contract with the Victorian government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to design, construct and operate the state’s grid-connected system.

The intent of the Energy Storage Initiative is to enhance the capability of the Victorian electricity network to support further renewable electricity generation and unlock economic growth.

The 30MW, 30MWh will be located at the AusNet Services Ballarat Terminal Station in Warrenheip, Ballarat. The system will comprise nine purpose-built and engineered battery enclosures (similar to a standard shipping container) for its lithium–ion batteries, operating system and environmental controls, security and associated cooling and safety systems.

The system has the capacity to power more than 20,000 homes for an hour of critical peak demand before being recharged. It will operate 24/7 to support critical peak demand and frequency control services to improve the security and reliability of the state’s energy supply.

Spotless Sustainability Services will manage the design and construction of the project. It will commission the battery energy storage system from Fluence.

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“It’s an exciting time for Victoria and the utilities industry,” said Spotless CEO Dana Nelson. “Spotless is pleased to take a lead role to introduce renewable energy solutions. We’ve brought together leading utilities expertise and proven energy storage technology to deliver this Victorian first.”

“This project is another fantastic step towards an even more resilient, modern energy network and further demonstrates what is possible when industry and government work together,” said Nino Ficca, managing director of AusNet Services. “Large batteries, such as this one, are critical to providing clean, affordable and reliable energy now and for many years to come.”

EnergyAustralia managing director Catherine Tanna added: “Renewable energy is an obvious contributor to filling the gap left by the retirement of coal plants but we need to maintain a stable grid during cloudy and windless times. That’s where battery storage comes into its own with its ability to store wind and solar energy for quick release to stabilise fluctuations in the grid. The clean energy transition is happening right now. Commercial-scale batteries, demand response, pumped hydro and energy recovery – all the ingredients are there for a modern energy system that can deliver reliable, affordable and cleaner energy for customers. The challenge remains planning; getting the right balance and mix for a modern energy system – and doing it at least cost.”

Fluence CEO Stephen Coughlin said: “With this new project, Australia becomes the 16th country in which we’ve deployed our industrial-strength energy storage solutions over the last decade, and we look forward to delivering many more Australian storage projects in the future.”

Planning approval has been granted for the project with construction to commence straightaway, for completion in November this year.

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