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The Northern Territory Government has announced a new milestone for the $45 million Darwin-Katherine Battery Energy Storage System (DK BESS).

All 192 batteries, each weighing 3.5t, have been installed for the 35MVA BESS, with construction and pre-commissioning complete. 

Territory Generation is continuing to work collaboratively with key stakeholders to begin rigorous testing before the DK BESS comes online later this year.

The Northern Territory Government has also announced a second large scale battery storage project, the DK BESS 2.

To further support the grid, expressions of interest have been opened for the DK BESS 2 project. Assessment of submissions is underway to understand industry capability, and successful applicants will be asked to put forward a proposal for the project.

The DK BESS 2 project will see large scale batteries distributed across locations on the Darwin-Katherine power system to boost capability and assure the security of the power grid.

The project will deliver fuel savings and enable more solar renewable energy penetration by providing essential frequency and voltage control services. Commissioning is targeted from 2026 onwards.

Together, the two BESS projects satisfy Darwin-Katherine Electricity System Plan requirements for the installation of up to 105MW of high-specification batteries.

A major part of the Darwin-Katherine Electricity System Plan, the first DK BESS is forecast to deliver cost savings of around $9.8 million per year, paying for itself in about five years from connection to the grid, and delivering annual carbon emission savings of 58,000t.

Northern Territory Chief Minister, Eva Lawler, said, “The DK BESS and DK BESS 2 are an important part of our transition to a renewable energy future. We are able to invest in our power grid because we own our assets like Territory Generation, Jacana and Power and Water.

“By owning our assets we can keep power prices low. Only a Territory Labor Government will keep our assets in the hands of Territorians.

“Battery technology will play a significant role in our target of reaching 50 per cent renewable energy consumption by 2030,” Ms Lawler said.

Northern Territory Minister for Renewables and Energy, Kate Worden, said, “This project will secure our energy supply for Territorians and stabilise our grid as we move towards integrating more renewable energy into our power use.

“As we move towards a future where renewable energy will play a greater part in our power supply, the DK BESS and DK BESS 2 projects will facilitate a major port of this change.

“By owning Territory Generation and Power and Water, the Territory Labor Government can assure Territorians we will keep power prices down,” Ms Worden said.

Territory Generation Chief Executive Officer, Gerhard Laubscher, said, “Territory Generation’s battery energy storage system projects will play a critical role in advancing renewables in Darwin-Katherine and other power systems across the Northern Territory.

“Adding more battery energy storage systems to Territory Generation’s portfolio will not only enable more renewables and efficient generation dispatch throughout the energy transition, but also fosters the evolution of technological innovations and further supports grid resilience,” Ms Laubscher said.

Hitachi Energy Australia Senior Vice President, Head of Grid Edge Solutions, Maxine Ghavi, said, “Hitachi Energy is focused on advancing a sustainable energy future for all. With our technology underpinning DK BESS 1, the project provided a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to a sustainable energy future to all Territorians.

“We would welcome the opportunity to continue to support the Northern Territory’s energy transition should it arise,” Ms Ghavi said.

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