South Australia’s new battery installation to ensure grid stability and lower prices

Yorke Peninsula in South Australia is set to install a new battery storage system to bolster the state’s grid stability. The installation of the 30 MW grid-scale battery system becomes the second largest energy storage project in the state.
The recently unveiled 129 MW Hornsdale battery project is so far the largest with its funding coming from the South Australian government and set up done by both Tesla and Neoen.

This new project designed to provide Energy Storage for Commercial Renewable Integration (ESCRI) is expected to start operations in February 2018.

Investment by private industry to support new battery system

ElectraNet, a popular network provider has been contracted to design, build and manage the battery at the Dalrymple substation in Yorke Peninsula, before leasing out the commercial operation to one of the major energy retailers in the state. Josh Frydenberg, the Energy Minister said ARENA would fund the $30 million project to the tune of $12 million. This financing commitment is slightly over a third of the overall cost of the new battery storage system.

Mr. Frydenberg added that this investment would certainly deliver reliable and affordable power to Australians especially now that the country is transitioning to a lower emission future. Wind energy alone supplies 40 percent of South Australia’s electricity supply. The skyrocketing prices of gas-powered energy have forced the SA government to look for energy alternatives to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

South Australia is leading the country in setting up a massive battery storage system for renewables.

The ESCRI battery system is the ultimate solution

When it becomes operational, the new battery storage system will help the state to achieve grid stability. The primary purpose of the system is to ramp up power supply into the main grid at very short notices, ultimately reducing stress on the Heywood interconnector to Victoria. This move is also expected to slash wholesale power prices in South Australia, particularly because the connector’s import capacity is limited.

In the event that primary generators in the state fail, the battery storage system will immediately deliver 8 megawatt-hours of power supply to nearby homes and businesses. The installation of the battery storage system will boost the reliability of power supply in the entire Dalrymple service area. This will happen when it takes on the role of a microgrid with nearby Wattle Point wind farm and rooftop solar systems.

Despite not being the biggest storage battery in the world, ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht noted that the Dalrymple project was a clear indication of the important role played by the utility scale storage in strengthening the South Australian energy network.

South Australia’s new battery installation to ensure grid stability and lower prices

The Author

I took an interest in the Australian energy sector close to ten years ago and since then have monitored the trends, technologies and direction of the Australian Energy Market. I was drawn to the Australian solar market in 2008 and since then have worked heavily in the field. I am partnered with national and international solar energy companies, from manufacturers of solar panel and inverter technology, online software developers that introduce tools to quote, monitor and manage solar power systems and media organisations who like myself, closely monitor the solar and renewable energy sector.