Featured image: Riverina BESS system in New South Wales. Image courtesy of Edify. 
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New South Wales’ largest and most advanced battery has gone live and fully operational, and is expected to power 240,000 homes with electricity during peak time and add grid stability, marking a milestone in the state’s energy transition. 

Federation Asset Management  and Edify Energy announced that the 150MW/300MWh Riverina and Darlington Point Energy Storage Systems (Riverina BESS) is now fully operational, importing and exporting electricity at its full nameplate capacity and benefiting New South Wales energy consumers.

Located in Wiradjuri Country, the largest Aboriginal Nation throughout New South Wales, Riverina BESS will also provide critical stabilising services to the transmission grid due to the advanced features of the Tesla Megapack systems. The battery’s output is sufficient to supply 240,000 homes with two hours of electricity at peak times.

The facility the BESS is located on consists of three independent but co-located units, with its output contracted to Shell Energy and EnergyAustralia for ten years. 

Riverina BESS is a collaboration between Federation and Edify, with Federation owning a 90 per cent interest in the project, and Edify owning the 10 per cent balance as well as providing long term operational asset management of the facility.

Designed and developed by Edify, the Riverina BESS utilises Tesla Megapacks, one of the most cutting-edge battery systems within the National Electricity Market (NEM). The Megapack systems are fitted with state-of-the-art grid-forming inverters, operating in a ‘virtual synchronous generator’ mode.

The distinctive capability ensures the reliable dispatch of clean energy on demand, and also empowers the storage system to function analogously to a traditional generator, providing indispensable system strength services, facilitating the seamless integration of clean energy power plants within the region.

$6.6 million in funding was provided by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, for the Riverina BESS project, with an additional $6.5 million granted by the New South Wales Government, as part of its $75 million Emerging Energy Program. 

Edify Chief Executive, John Cole, said the potential for battery storage technology is immense. 

“It is a key part of the clean energy transition and goes hand in glove with harnessing and firming Australia’s abundant renewable resources.

“This new system in the Riverina elevates the playing field with innovative firming technology ironing out the variable output of wind and solar, delivering affordable and reliable electricity to NSW homes and businesses,” Mr Cole said. 

“This is the second development in the Riverina region for Edify. Being a part of the community and contributing to the long-term prosperity of Darlington Point is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.

“Edify is proud to support local community infrastructure and events which contribute to cultural and economic prosperity of the town.

“During construction we had over 300 people working on site and the facility has three ongoing full-time employees. 

“It is very satisfying to see the positive impact of these projects during construction, including injecting millions of dollars of direct and indirect economic benefit into the local community,” said Mr Cole. 

Co-founder and Head of Renewable Energy for Federation, Stephen Panizza, said “As the nation’s ageing coal plants retire, the need for energy storage becomes ever more pressing.

“Advanced grid-forming batteries like the Riverina BESS are critical to extracting the maximum capacity from our existing grid infrastructure, allowing timely integration of additional wind and solar generation into the NEM while our grid infrastructure is upgraded.

“Advanced inverter technologies are a superior solution to challenges in the grid than legacy systems. 

“Providing this solution to our electricity system will deliver benefits to energy users across the NEM. We plan to accelerate our roll-out of large scale energy storage,” Mr Panizza said. 

Featured image: Riverina BESS system in New South Wales. Image courtesy of Edify. 

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