Epic adds big battery to complement South Australian solar


South Australian energy infrastructure company Epic Energy has announced plans to build a 200 MWh standalone battery energy storage system alongside its existing 35 MW of solar generation capacity at Mannum in the state’s Riverland region after acquiring the project from Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy.

Epic said the estimated $130 million (USD 87 million) big battery will complement the original 5 MW Mannum Solar Farm, that has been operating since 2019, and the 30 MW stage two expansion that is progressing through the commissioning process, serving as a vital energy reservoir to enhance grid stability in the region.

Epic Chief Executive Officer Clive D’Cruz said the Mannum battery project will create much-needed energy storage to facilitate the integration of new renewable generation sources and support the state’s ongoing energy security and energy transition.

“The battery will further support the South Australian electricity market and ongoing energy security by absorbing excess energy during the day and storing it for use during the evening peak,” he said.

Construction of the standalone battery is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2024, with completion scheduled for the second half of 2025.

The project will utilise lithium-iron phosphate battery technology provided by Canadian Solar subsidiary e-Storage.

It is anticipated e-Storage will employ the latest iteration of its SolBank utility-scale battery energy storage system for the project. The company said the recently launched SolBank 3.0 offers up to 45% more capacity and a 40% decrease in commissioning time compared to the previous 2.0 iteration.

The Mannum battery energy storage project is the latest addition to Epic’s expanding renewable energy portfolio in Australia.  The company, which owns and operates a gas pipeline network spanning 1,200 kilometres across South Australia, has in recent years branched out into renewable energy generation. Its portfolio of renewable infrastructure includes the IKEA Adelaide solar and battery microgrid, and the Timboon West and Yawong wind farms in Victoria’s northwest.

It has also been selected by the Office of Hydrogen Power South Australia to progress the early contractor involvement phase of the state’s Hydrogen Jobs Plan project with a focus on the development of a dual-purpose renewable hydrogen storage and transmission pipeline.

“We are committed to leveraging our expertise to embrace new energy directions that support Australia’s energy transition,” D’Cruz said.

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