Northern Territory poised to host up to 45 MW battery storage

Northern Territory is in the box seat to welcome the world’s second largest energy storage system after South Australia’s 100 MW li-ion battery delivered by Tesla and Neoen, provided that the system’s capacity exceeds 30MW. 

In its expression of interest document, Territory Generation is seeking design parameters of 25 MW, 35 MW, and 45 MW power outputs, with an energy storage of 30 minutes — and alternatives of up to an extra hour — at the rated capacity.

As reported by ABC News, the battery would need to be able to supply power during periods of large solar PV capacity loss, such as on cloudy days.

The news on the large-scale battery tender, which closes on January 22, reflects Northern Territory’s push for 50% renewable energy by 2030, laid out in the NT government’s Roadmap to Renewables Report, an eleven step recommendations list released in November. 

In a move to reduce its 96% reliance on gas and coal, the NT government pledged to provide $750,000 to the Territory-owned utility, Power Water, to develop and “a dynamic system model,” which will ensure that increasing levels of renewable energy can be integrated into the grid in a stable and predictable way, as well as $4.5 Million into household co-contribution grants, each up to $1,000, which can be used  for the installation of a range of energy-saving technologies, including PV systems and battery storage.

According to Territory Generation,the number of residences with rooftop solar PV systems in the NT will increase from one in 10 homes in 2015-16 to almost one in three over the next eight years, while the number of large-scale solar PV systems will continue to grow from currently eight systems that have a capacity of more than 100 MW. 

The large-scale storage wave across Australia continues to rise strongly, as news on milestone battery projects roll in. Last week, the Victorian government inked an agreement with French developer Neoen to deliver a 20 MW battery storage facility alongside a wind project. Meanwhile, reports have emerged on a battery project in Queensland potentially even larger than the one in South Australia involving the same developer.

Speaking to pv magazine Australia earlier last week, the CEO of Smart Energy Council John Grimes said that there is 1GW of proposed large-scale storage capacity, well-placed to come online between now and 2020.