NT battery energy storage project gets green light

Vector has won a multi-million-dollar contract to supply Territory Generation Alice Springs battery energy storage system (BESS) project.

The 5MW battery energy storage system, understood to be one of the largest grid-connected storage solutions in Australia, 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.

Territory Generation chief executive officer Tim Duigin said the project will change the face of Alice Springs as it transitions to a renewable future.

“This Energy Storage system, along with our new machinery at Owen Springs, heralds a new era of power supply for Alice Springs,” Mr Duignan said.

“We’re replacing aged electricity generators with the latest equipment, to provide efficient and reliable power supply, drive down the cost of producing electricity and to support a transition to renewable energy.”

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.

“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 baseload 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.”

Vector will be responsible for the design, engineering, construction, and installation of the system and once commissioned, will also be responsible for ongoing maintenance.

Chief executive Simon Mackenzie said the contract further endorsed the company’s strategy and commitment to delivering customers world-class sustainable energy solutions.

“It’s not just the technology Vector’s using that is innovative, it is the way we’re tailoring the solutions to meet quite specific and widely varied customer needs that is the game changer,” he said.

“It’s our mindset that is proving as innovative as the technology we’re using to meet the unique challenges and aspirations of the Alice Springs network.

“When we complete this contract, Vector will have delivered the two largest grid-tied battery storage projects in Australasia.”

The battery system is expected to be installed and commissioned by the end of the year.