Fluence to install big battery at Lincoln Gap wind farm in South Australia

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Nexif Energy inks deal with Fluence to install a 10MW/10MWh battery storage system at its 212MW Lincoln Gap Wind Farm near Port Augusta.

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The Ballarat Battery Energy Storage System. Source: Spotless Group.
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Plans to add storage to the 212MW Lincoln Gap wind farm in South Australia are underway, with Siemens/AES joint venture Fluence signed up to deliver a 10MW/10MWh battery based energy storage system, targeted for completion in May 2019.

Lincoln Gap project developer Nexif Energy said on Friday that it had signed an agreement with Fluence after a “rigorous evaluation process,” to deliver an energy storage system to “reliably integrate” the wind farm’s output to the National Electricity Market.

It is the second big win for Fluence in Australia, following the Ballarat Energy Storage System (BESS) that has begun commissioning and interacting with the grid this week, and provides competition for Tesla, which has secured most contracts to date.

Lincoln Gap will be the third big battery in South Australia, after the so-called Tesla big battery at the Hornsdale wind farm, the Dalrymple North battery at the Wattle Point wind farm. Large scale battery storage is also planned for the Snowtown wind farm, along with a co-located solar farm, and for the Whyalla steelworks.

“The new Lincoln Gap Wind Farm will utilise Fluence’s industrial-grade Advancion energy storage platform to provide improved Fast Frequency Response (FFR) capabilities, helping the project to meet new interconnection requirements for renewable generation projects in South Australia, ” a joint company statement said.

“Furthermore, the LGWF will be able to deliver critical flexibility – in the form of Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) – directly into the NEM.”

The deal – while just one among an increasing number of renewable plus battery storage projects in the development pipeline around Australia – is being heralded as one of the first such projects to secure non-subsidised financing.

As we reported here just over a year ago, Nexif’s plans to add battery storage have been backed by $150 million in debt finance secured through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

“This successful financing is indicative of the growing acceptance of energy storage as a robust and reliable technology for Australia,” the statement said.

South Australian energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the project continued to demonstrate strong private sector interest in developing grid-scale storage projects in the state.

“Congratulations to Nexif and Fluence on partnering to deliver the 10MW battery at Lincoln Gap wind farm,” van Holst Pellekaan said.

“The addition of a battery will help to provide important grid stability services to the network and better integrate intermittent renewable energy into the grid.

“It will contribute to the orderly transition to clean energy in South Australia, and aligns with the South Australian Government’s goal of providing South Australian consumers with an electricity system that is affordable, reliable and secure.”

The 30MW/30MWh Ballarat battery – pictured above – this week began its commissioning phase, charging and discharging into the grid, just a week after its formal unveiling.

As we reported here, that battery is also unique, in that it is connected to a key junction in the network, and not located next to a wind and solar farm like Lincoln Gap, Hornsdale, and other batteries under development at Bungala, Wattle Point, Snowtown, and Kennedy.

The Lincoln Gap deal also coincides with the establishment of a Melbourne office, for Fluence, as a key new business base for the US company in the Asia Pacific region.

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