Epic secures connection agreement for 200 MWh battery


South Australia grid operator ElectraNet announced that the connection agreement has been signed for the $130 million battery energy storage system that will be built adjacent to Epic Energy’s existing 35 MW of solar generation capacity at Mannum.

Construction of the standalone battery, to be located 90 kilometres east of Adelaide, is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2024, with completion scheduled for the second half of 2025.

“This is another exciting development from our customer that is moving South Australia towards its net renewables target,” ElectraNet said.

Epic said the 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.

“The battery energy storage solution will absorb surplus energy during times of low demand that can then be directed into the grid to help support the consistent supply of renewable electricity to South Australian consumers, and the national grid, in peak periods,” Epic Energy Chief Executive Officer Clive D’Cruz said.

The Mannum battery energy storage solution will feature high-cycle capacity lithium-iron phosphate battery technology provided by Canadian Solar subsidiary e-Storage.

It is expected 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 battery will be located adjacent to ElectraNet’s Mannum substation but Tom Forde, general manager of major projects delivery, said the connection process will not be without technical challenges.

“Connecting BESS projects of this scale to the national electricity grid is extremely complex, requiring a high degree of expertise, coordination, and collaboration,” he said.

ElectraNet said the connection will involve extending an existing 132 kV busbar at Mannum substation to facilitate the cable connecting the battery facility.

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