Government Funded Battery Project to Power Western Sydney

A new large-scale, grid-connected lithium ion battery project in western Sydney has been backed by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), who have committed $11.5 million in funding for the project.

The NSW Government will also pitch in $10 million in funding for the $61.9 million project, which will see a 50MW/75MWh lithium ion battery installed at the Wallgrove substation.

The battery will be supplied and constructed by Tesla, the same company that built the battery at the Hornsdale Power Reserve, the largest lithium ion battery currently in operation in Australia, while NSW electricity network operator TransGrid will own and operate the battery.

Once completed, the substation will provide a fast, efficient, and clean frequency response and inertia services to the NSW transmission network.

With both the NSW and Australian Governments earlier this year signing a Memorandum of Understanding to collaboratively develop and fund projects that will improve electricity production and reliability while reducing costs for consumers, ARENA CEO Darren Miller said battery storage technology would prove to be an efficient solution.

“Energy storage is one of the priority technologies under the Australian Government’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement released last month, and ARENA has already played a key role in supporting the commercialisation of battery storage,” said Miller.

“Large scale batteries have a big role to play in firming and balancing our electricity system as we move towards a future energy mix with higher penetration of renewable energy.

“The Wallgrove Grid Battery will demonstrate the technical capability of batteries with advanced inverter capabilities to substitute traditional inertia. In doing so, TransGrid will demonstrate that batteries can provide the most cost-effective solution for NSW’s projected upcoming inertia shortfall.”

The Wallgrove substation is the fifth battery project to be supported by ARENA, following the Hornsdale Power Reserve expansion, ESCRI battery and Lake Bonney batteries in South Australia and the Ballarat and Gannawarra batteries in Victoria.

TransGrid Executive Manager of Strategy, Innovation and Technology Eva Hanley was excited to see NSW supporting its first low cost, clean energy source.

“TransGrid is committed to finding low cost innovative solutions to the emerging challenges of the energy transformation,” said Hanley. “This will be the first battery in NSW to pilot grid scale synthetic inertia as a network service.

“It’s a step forward for the NSW grid and the National Electricity Market. This innovation will help accelerate the industry’s transformation to a low-carbon energy system, at a lower cost to customers.”

Source: The Australian Renewable Energy Agency | Big battery in western Sydney to charge up NSW energy grid

11 November 2020

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