ABB to supply storage, microgrid to Woodside gas platform

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ABB will supply a battery and power management solution to the Goodwyn A platform off the West Australian coast, replacing one of its six gas generators and reducing its reliance on an emergency diesel generator. The move comes as the resource sector in Australia increasingly switches onto the potential of renewable generation and battery storage to reduce costs, increase the quality of power supply and decrease carbon emissions.

Goodwyn A sits 135km off WA’s Northwest coast, from the town of Karratha. It has a daily production capacity of 36,000 tons of gas and 1,000 tons of condensate.

Grid, robotics and power electronics international ABB will supply one of its containerized PowerStore battery storage systems to Goodwyn A. Its ABB Ability digital control platform to integrate the storage system into the gas platform’s microgrid.

The system will be the latest of 15 microgrid solutions that ABB has installed in Australia – which serve remote communities, islands, utilities and industrial campuses, the company outlines in a press release.

“Microgrids and energy storage are key focus areas of our Next Level strategy and this innovative solution reinforces ABB’s position as a partner of choice in enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid,” said Massimo Danieli, head of ABB’s Grid Automation business within the company’s Power Grids division.

Maintaining uninterrupted electricity to resource operations is a key concern with operations or equipment shutdowns potentially costly and dangerous. ABB reports that its ABB Ability platform will remotely monitor and operate the battery system and the power supply on Goodwyn A. The company notes that it will also monitor whether the gas platform “has to de-manned for any reason.”

While initially slow to move, mining and oil and gas companies may be more willing to adopt renewables and storage if fears about the security of electricity supply can be met. Cost pressures resulting from periodically low commodity prices may also be a driver. The size of the opportunity for solar, wind and storage developers is significant, as there are gigawatts of either diesel or piped gas generation capacity supplying the resource sector in WA alone.

“We are pleased to partner with Woodside on pioneering a PowerStore Battery energy solution for offshore oil and gas, which will reduce environmental impact and optimize costs” said ABB’s Danieli.

ABB offers PowerStores with a capacity ranging from 365 kWh up to over 2 MWh.