Edify secures $13 million for Darlington Point big battery project


Edify Energy has landed a $6.6 million grant from the Federal Government-backed Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and another $6.5 million from the New South Wales (NSW) government to help bankroll the installation of a battery energy storage system coupled with advanced inverter technology on a site adjacent to its Darlington Point Solar Farm in the state’s Riverina region.

The Darlington Point battery is part of an energy storage system with a combined 150 MW/300 MWh of storage capacity spread over three individual but co-located assets. The project comprises the 60 MW/120 MWh Riverina Energy Storage System 1, the 65 MW/130 MWh Riverina Energy Storage System 2 and the 25 MW/50 MWh Darlington Point Energy Storage System.

Sydney-headquartered Edify, which last month announced it had completed the financing for the project, said the energy storage systems will use Tesla Megapack technology teamed with grid-forming inverters that operate in ‘virtual synchronous generator’ mode.

“This will allow the storage system to operate in a manner akin to a conventional generator and provide crucial system strength services to help facilitate the connection of future clean energy power plants in the region,” the company said.

ARENA said the entire project, which plans to connect into Transgrid’s network via the Darlington Point Substation, will help future-proof the Darlington Point area as renewable energy generation continues to expand in south-western NSW.

The battery energy storage system will be built adjacent to the existing Darlington Point Solar Farm.

Image: Edify Energy

“Edify’s battery will be one of the most advanced battery systems in the National Electricity Market (NEM) once built, further extending the capabilities of large-scale batteries equipped with advanced inverter technology by demonstrating that they can substitute for more traditional forms of synchronous generation and synchronous condensers,” ARENA said.

“The battery could help improve system strength in a weak part of the grid, unlocking opportunities to support more renewable energy generation.”

ARENA acting chief executive officer Chris Faris said large-scale batteries are now being seen as more than just energy storage devices for the grid.

“To support the rapid transformation of our electricity system, large-scale batteries will need to evolve to do more than just store energy,” he said. “They need to be equipped with advanced inverters that can provide critical grid stability services to keep the system safe and secure, especially as synchronous generators retire and renewables provide a higher share of supply.”

Faris said large-scale batteries like Edify’s Darlington Point battery are not only firming renewable energy but are also strengthening the grid, “particularly in regional areas, where they will help to unlock more renewable uptake”.

“Edify has been one of the early adopters and pioneers of large-scale batteries in Australia. Having worked together on the Gannawarra battery, we’re excited to be supporting them once again in deploying new battery technologies to strengthen the grid as we transition,” he said.

ARENA stressed that the Darlington Point project is not among the 12 large-scale batteries that were last week shortlisted as part of a $100 million competitive funding round for grid-scale batteries equipped with advanced inverter technologies. The shortlisted projects have a capacity of more than 3000 MW and 7000 MWh of battery capacity.

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