South Australia’s electricity network has been the subject of intense scrutiny since its 2016 statewide blackout. While attracting considerable controversy, and misinformation about the role of renewables in the system failure, it has also resulted in the deployment of innovative technologies to strengthen the grid, including the much-heralded Hornsdale Power Reserve project – currently the world’s largest utility scale storage project installed at a single site.
The state will now see the deployment of a microgrid and battery storage project, to be installed on the Yorke Peninsula – which will aim to strengthen the grid in the region.
ABB will deliver its Ability Microgrid and PowerStore battery storage system to the Electranet grid, which will bolster energy security and facilitate continued renewable penetration. It will be coupled with the existing 90 MW Wattle Point wind farm and rooftop solar PV.
The microgrid will have the capability to supply power to around 400 homes in the event that interconnectors with Victoria go down for ‘at least’ 24 hours – ABB announced in a statement.
“Our advanced technology meets up to complex requirements that are part of today’s energy revolution and microgrid solutions are playing an increasing role in the evolution of the grid,” said ABB’s head of Grid Automation Massimo Danieli. The ABB Ability microgrid system includes its Microgrid Plus control and automation solution – pointing to the growing role of IT in grid operation when high levels of renewable energy is being integrated into the electricity network.
The project is the second phase of ESCRI. Phase 1 was the first study of the role large scale storage could play on the SA network to strengthen resiliency, utilising overnight wind power output. ARENA funded the $1.03 million Phase 1 to the tune of $446,000.
The 30 MW Powerstore battery will be integrated to the Dalrymple substation on the York Peninsula. Consolidated Power Projects is acting as EPC on the project. SA grid operator ElectraNet will be project owner and AGL operator.
Adelaide-based EPC Consolidated Power Projects had previously worked with ABB on the Hornsdale Power Reserve project – which is owned by Neoen.
ARENA is providing $12 million in funding for the $30 million ESCRI Phase 2 microgrid and battery. A spokesperson for ARENA told pv magazine Australia that the microgrid, “is integral to the ESCRI project and not an add on.”
This article was updated on 13/6/2018 to include the details of the ARENA funding.