Shell Energy Australia said 16 New South Wales (NSW) government buildings are being equipped with batteries as part of an initiative to help Property and Development New South Wales (PDNSW) offset costs and reduce carbon emissions across its property portfolio.
The virtual power plant (VPP), installed and operated by Shell Energy in partnership with the state government, has been designed to aggregate the battery storage units to help stabilise demand and supply on the electricity grid.
Department of Planning and Environment deputy secretary Leon Walker said the batteries will store excess solar output and feed up to 1,280 kWh of energy back into the electricity network during peak demand periods.
“This is enough energy to keep up to 1,000 household air-conditioners running on a hot summer day when the electricity grid is under stress,” he said.
“So far, 13 of our regional commercial office sites have installed the new batteries, with the final three due to be installed and switched on by June.”
Shell Energy Australia Chief Executive Officer Greg Joiner said the VPP has been designed to coordinate multiple battery storage units that can be simultaneously dispatched, helping PDNSW to optimise its renewable energy assets while contributing to a cleaner and more resilient power system.
“Shell Energy has developed a solution that will enable PDNSW to participate in and realise value from a rapidly decarbonising and digitised energy system,” he said.
The costs of the project have been jointly funded by PDNSW and the NSW Office of Energy and Climate Change’s Smart Batteries for Key Government Buildings initiative.
The latter initiative was established to support the installation of battery energy storage solutions at schools, hospitals and other government buildings with rooftop solar systems.
Shell Energy has a $3.2 billion long-term retail contract with the NSW government to supply the electricity needs for state-owned hospitals, schools and other buildings.
NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean said the 10-year 1.8 TWh per annum electricity retailing contract, announced in 2021, will play a key role in supporting the state government’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
“The NSW government is the second biggest energy customer in the state and we are using our purchasing power to leverage new dispatchable capacity to help power our schools, hospitals, traffic lights and tunnels,” he said.
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