South Australia welcomes 30 MW/8 MWh battery

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A 30 MW / 8 MWh grid-scale battery at the Dalrymple substation on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula is powering up, nine moths after construction was completed.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced today the Storage for Commercial Renewable Integration (ESCRI) project has been commissioned and tested and is now live and connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The $30 million project was underpinned by a $12 million funding from ARENA.

This is one of four grid-scale battery projects ARENA has supported to date, including two batteries recently commissioned in Western Victoria – the 30 MW/30 MWh Ballarat Battery Energy Storage System and the 25 MW/50 MWh Tesla battery collocated with the 60 MW Gannawarra Solar Farm –  and Infigen’s 25 MW/52 MWh Lake Bonney battery currently under construction in South Australia.

“We’re excited to see that the completion of the ESCRI battery has already helped inform the development of further battery projects around Australia,” said ARENA Acting CEO Nicola Morris.

“It is clear that grid-scale energy storage has a role to play in our future energy mix. ESCRI demonstrates that utility scale batteries can deliver a range of market services and back up power when it is needed.”

The ESCRI battery will work with the 90 MW Wattle Point Wind Farm and local rooftop solar PV, to provide backup power to the households and businesses on the Yorke Peninsula in the event of power outage.

“On average, it can provide backup power to 4500 customers in the Dalrymple service area for 2-3 hours while connection to the grid is being restored,” ElectraNet Chief Executive, Steve Masters, said.

Transmission provider ElectraNet developed and owns the ESCRI battery, which was built next to, and connected to their Dalrymple substation.

According to Masters, the new battery is the first large-scale energy storage facility in the NEM to provide both regulated network services and competitive market services to maximise value from its operation.

AGL, which will run the battery under a long-term deal, said the system would enhance energy security in SA, particularly in vulnerable regions such as lower Yorke Peninsula.

South Australia is already home to the world’s largest battery – the 100/129 MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve, which managed to save $40 million in grid stabilization costs in the first year of its operation, while the state’s biggest battery in conjunction with a solar farm is the 21 MW/26 MWh battery system coupled with a 44 MW solar project near Snowtown. 

At the time of writing, the ESCRI battery was 71% charged, as seen on ElectraNet’s website.