Infigen to build grid-scale battery at SA wind farm

Infigen's Lake Bonney Wind Farm

Infigen Energy has announced it will install a grid-scale battery at its Lake Bonney Wind Farm in South Australia.

The 25MW/52MWh Tesla battery energy storage system (BESS) will be built adjacent to the 278.5MW wind farm.

“With the firming capability of the BESS, Infigen will be able to expand its supply contracts from the Lake Bonney Wind Farm to additional commercial and industrial customers in South Australia, which is at the heart of our business strategy,” Infigen CEO Ross Rolfe said.

The company has entered into funding agreements with the South Australian Government and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to co-fund the $38 million development.

The SA Government and ARENA have each committed $5 million in grant funding.

“South Australia needs substantial investment in multiple battery storage systems to ensure the continued transition to renewable energy produces more affordable and reliable electricity,” SA Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said.

“Infigen’s investment in South Australia is welcome news to businesses in the state as it will increase the competitiveness of electricity prices for customers with high energy demand.”

Entura has undertaken a grid connection study for the project

Once installed the (BESS) will be connected to the National Electricity Market via the Mayurra substation owned by ElectraNet.

The battery will deliver flexible capacity and system security services, such as Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS), to the electricity grid in South Australia.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said battery storage was increasingly becoming a key component of transitioning to an energy system powered by renewables.

“It is clear grid-scale batteries have an important role in stabilising the grid,” he said.

ARENA has previously contributed $12 million towards the $30 million 30MW ESCRI battery soon to be commissioned at Dalrymple South Australia, as well as $25 million to two grid-scale batteries currently under construction in western Victoria.

“The co-location of a battery with a wind farm provides an opportunity for Infigen to pursue regulatory changes that could improve revenue outcomes for grid-scale batteries, helping to becoming more competitive,” Mr Frischknecht said.

When fully charged, the battery will have 52MWh of stored electricity, ready to be dispatched when needed.

Entura has been engaged to deliver grid connection support services to the project.

As part of its scope, Entura has undertaken a grid connection study and is supporting Infigen as it finalises connection arrangements for the BESS.

“Grid-scale batteries play a key role in helping renewables to become dispatchable, allowing wind and solar farms to operate more flexibly and providing greater value to asset owners,” Entura principal consultant electrical primary systems Donald Vaughan said.

“We’re delighted to be working once again with Infigen in this innovative project that will make a contribution to our client and the local community.”

Construction is expected to begin in September.