Battery storage

The $8.3 million 5MW Alice Springs Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) that will help the Territory Labor Government reach its target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 has been launched.

The BESS will help  support cheaper and cleaner power for Territorians.

The Government-owned Territory Generation’s new battery will provide reliable, secure, and cost-effective electricity supply for Territorians and for business. It is also one of the largest grid-connected storage solutions in Australia.

During high solar penetration periods such as in the middle of the day, solar can currently supply up to 40 per cent of the Alice Springs power needs. It is projected that BESS will support an increase of this supply up to 50 per cent.

Minister for Renewables & Essential Services, Dale Wakefield, said, “We are investing in Alice Springs to achieve our renewable energy target and become the Solar Capital of Australia.

“The new Alice Springs Battery Energy Storage System is an important piece of infrastructure that will enable us to integrate more renewables, and provide increased reliability of supply to homes and businesses in Alice Springs.”

Territory Generation CEO, Tim Duignanm, said Territory Generation’s Battery Energy Storage System will provide near-instantaneous response to changes in solar load, such as cloud cover.

“Reliability and stability of base load power is a critical barrier in the uptake of renewable energy across Australia, and I am pleased that we are at the forefront of tackling this issue right here in Alice Springs,” Mr Duignanm said.

“The cutting-edge technology in our Battery Energy Storage System will reinforce Alice Springs as the solar capital of Australia by enabling greater solar penetration and grid stability.”

Other features of the new 5MW battery include:

  • Provide a near-instant response to variations in solar load, particularly during cloud cover, and it will improve power generation reliability for the region

  • The system has a 5MW capacity, combined with 40 minutes of storage capability, and it is capable of flexing to 8MW for six seconds and 7.5MW for 60 seconds

It is projected that the $8.3 million investment for the battery system will be recouped in four to five years due to efficiency improvements.

The battery system has already provided power into the grid through its rigorous testing and by the end of November it will be fully integrated into the Alice Springs power system.

Since the release of the Roadmap to Renewables Report some of the Territory Labor Government’s other key investments include:

  • $40 million private sector investment in the Katherine Solar Farm project that will be the largest renewable energy generator in the Northern Territory. This solar project will increase renewable energy use in the Territory and provide enough power for 8,000 homes

  • $59 million joint investment with ARENA for the Solar SETuP program providing 10MW of solar across 25 remote communities. This program is nearing completion. It will also reduce diesel use and take trucks off the roads

  • $4.5 million for co-contribution grants of up to $1000 for households to undertake energy efficiency measures such as installation of solar-photovoltaic (PV) systems, batteries, solar pool pumps, smart meters, efficient lighting, solar hot water, energy efficient appliances, and efficiency audits

  • $750,000 to Power and Water to develop and validate a dynamic system model which will ensure that increasing levels of renewable energy can be integrated into the grid in a stable and predictable way

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