Western Australia takes first steps in utility-scale storage

Western Australia utility Horizon Power has begun testing for the state’s first utility-scale battery, at its diesel/gas Mungullah Power Station, which provides power to the coastal town of Carnarvon.

Two batteries are being trialed for a 12-month period, to assess their capability to support further deployment of renewable generation, and to provide backup power for the operation of the Mungullah plant.

The batteries have a 2MWh capacity, and are supplied by Chinese company Tianjin Lishen Battery. Lishen won a tender for the trial project, and Horizon will purchase the batteries if successful after 12 months. The batteries will be trialed in a range of operating modes including spinning reserve, peak shifting and simulation of hosting capacity.

Western Australia’s Government expects the trial to bring about significant savings in fuel and maintenance costs, through reduction in the use of gas and diesel generators to provide spinning reserve. Horizon will also use the trial to improve its knowledge of utilizing storage in supporting renewable energy, and operating microgrids.

“This project is an excellent example of the collaboration between the State Government and industry to deliver innovative and renewable solutions for the community in the long term, said WA Energy Minister Ben Wyatt. “This project will present multiple opportunities in the renewable and distributed energy space into the future.”