Listed renewable energy developer Infigen Energy says its newly-commissioned big battery at Lake Bonney has offset the huge losses in output from its biggest wind farm that were caused by the recent failure of the transmission link from Victoria to South Australia.
Infigen says losses at the three wind farms that make up the 275MW Lake Bonney wind complex in the south-east corner of South Australia amounted to more than 70 per cent in February, because the wind farm was shut down for more than two weeks when the state became “islanded” after a major storm tore down the main transmission link.
While the Australian Energy Market Operator asked for Lake Bonney to be shut down – one of four wind farms to suffer that fate during the outage – its neighbouring 25MW/52MWh big battery (also Tesla batteries) continued to operate, playing a crucial system security role for the operator along with the state’s other two big batteries at Hornsdale and Darlrymple North.
“The strong performance of Infigen’s 25MW/52MWh SA battery has broadly offset the economic impact of the curtailed production,” Infigen said in a monthly production statement last week.
The data – in the table above – shows that the three Lake Bonney wind farms suffered dramatic falls in output, from 70 per cent in Lake Bonney 1 to 75 per cent in Lake Bonney 3, meaning an overall reduction in output of 24 per cent from the same period a year earlier.
The Lake Bonney wind farms normally account for around 40 per cent of the company’s total wind output in any particular month, but in February was reduced to little more than 10 per cent. The lost production would likely account for around $4 million of revenue, suggesting that the battery made roughly that amount while the state’s grid was operating as an “island.”
The data for the Lake Bonney battery – completed in late November after a six-month delay – was not revealed. But other reports have pointed to the key role played by the three batteries in keeping the South Australia grid stable while it was operating as as “island”, and to the significant revenues from the frequency and ancillary services market during that period.