30MW battery to boost South Australia's power supply network announced

A 30-megawatt (MW) battery to bolster South Australia's power supply network is to be built on Yorke Peninsula, west of Adelaide.

Under the project, which is expected to cost about $30 million, power network provider ElectraNet will design, build and own the battery, which will be located at the existing Dalrymple substation, north of Yorketown.

ElectraNet will lease the battery to an energy retailer, and the Federal Government, which will contribute up to $12 million via the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, said the battery was expected to be operating by next February.

The chief executive of Arena, Ivor Frischknecht, said the battery “may not be the biggest battery in the world but pound-for-pound it will pack a big punch in demonstrating how utility-scale storage can contribute to a stronger South Australian energy network”.

“This is the first large scale grid-connected battery to be designed, built and commercially operated in Australia largely with private investment from energy providers,” Frischknecht said.

Controversy over South Australia’s comparatively high share of wind energy, a statewide blackout last September and a lack of certainty about federal energy and climate policy has prompted South Australian Government to pursue a $550m energy sufficiency plan.

The plan includes Tesla building an array of lithium ion batteries which will be able to store 129 MWh of energy. The Tesla proposal is currently the largest battery project in the world.

The smaller battery to be funded by Arena is the second phase of a storage project designed to help shore up the South Australian power grid.

The battery will kick in during any loss of supply in the Dalrymple area and work with the 90MW Wattle Point windfarm and rooftop solar PV systems in a microgrid.

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