The Northern Territory Government has announced the construction of a new five megawatt battery energy storage system (BESS) in Alice Springs, making it one of the largest grid-connected storage solutions in Australia.

Member for Braitling, Dale Wakefield, said “The technology being deployed by Territory Generation is cutting edge and we hope it heralds what could represent similar solutions in other areas of the Territory.

“Although this system is primarily aimed at making the existing system more efficient and reliable, it is the same technology that will allow future renewables growth.”

Modelling determined that the total cost of the wider Alice Springs Battery Energy Storage System Project – at $8.3 million – would, on a simple payment basis, be recouped within four to five years due to the efficiencies and savings realised.

The BESS will be used to provide improved power generation reliability for the region, by assisting in smoothing the output of Territory Generation’s solar power during cloud cover events.

Territory Generation CEO, Tim Duignan, has announced Vector Energy as its preferred supplier to install the five megawatt BESS, which is primarily being installed for generation stabilisation, and is timed to coincide with the shift from the ageing Ron Goodin Power Station to the upgraded Owen Springs Power Station at the end of 2017.

“There is significant expectation from industry, business and the community in Alice Springs to increase solar penetration on the grid, however without storage to smooth the solar output, there is limited opportunity to integrate further solar without impacting on grid stability,” Mr Duignan said.

“Reliability of base-load power is a major issue in Australia at the moment and these new technologies are an important step to ensuring reliability in a controlled transition to renewables.

“Vector Energy’s comprehensive solution will integrate into our existing system and is one of the reasons we have chosen them. Ultimately it will assist in supporting the system to be able to increase the solar profile in Alice Springs.”

The Energy Storage System is expected to be complete by late 2017.

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