ACEN Australia’s New England Solar Farm construction.

ACEN Australia has signed an agreement with Transgrid Group’s contestable business, Lumea, to connect a new Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) as part of its New England Solar Farm project.

Stage one of ACEN Australia’s $768 million project is currently under construction near Uralla in the proposed New England Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).

The 50MW BESS, which will be scaled up to 200MW providing two hours of storage capacity, is expected to supply energy to 250,000 New South Wales homes. The solar farm and BESS will connect directly to Transgrid’s network.

Following the signing event attended by Philippines President, Ferdinand Marcos, Transgrid Chief Executive Officer, Brett Redman, said, “The Transgrid Group, through our contestable division Lumea, is proud to work with ACEN Australia on this significant project and further grow our relationship with the Philippines, which continues to play an important role in Australia’s energy transition.

“The team is excited to get on with the job of connecting the BESS to the electricity network – it’s a very big step forward in the transition to renewables and for Australian consumers who will be the beneficiaries of access to cheaper, cleaner energy,” Mr Redman said.

Newly appointed Lumea Executive General Manager, Craig Stallan, said, “As the transition accelerates, we will see more major storage projects connect to the grid, improving system strength and enabling access to more low-cost, clean energy for millions of Australians.

“This project is yet another win for Lumea who has the most experienced connections team in the National Electricity Market (NEM). We will continue to prioritise hard work and innovation to enable competitive options for our customers in the Australian market,” Mr Stallan said.

Lumea’s customer ACEN Australia is delivering the lithium-ion BESS. It is part of a 720MW solar facility currently being built in stages near Uralla in the New South Wales New England region. Stage one of the solar facility (400MW) commenced generating clean, renewable electricity into New South Wales in 2023. Stage two will start construction in 2024.

ACEN Australia Managing Director, David Pollington, said, “The battery is another milestone for ACEN Australia’s inaugural project, New England Solar, which stands as a major contributor to the NEM.

“Once finished, it will be one of the nation’s largest co-located solar and battery energy storage facilities and enables energy to be stored and made available to the grid when it is needed. We are pleased to work with Lumea to unlock the full benefits of our project,” Mr Pollington said.

Target completion of the BESS is expected in 2025.

Featured image: ACEN Australia’s New England Solar Farm construction. Courtesy of Lumea. 

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