Lend Lease to pioneer large scale battery storage for new Perth suburb | RenewEconomy

Lend Lease to pioneer large scale battery storage for new Perth suburb

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Lend Lease, LandCorp, and ARENA team up to trial 1MWh battery storage installation and new retail model in new Perth suburb.

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Development groups Lend Lease and LandCorp are to pioneer a major community-level battery storage pilot that could change the way that residential communities source energy, including not being connected to the grid.

The pilot project at Alkimos Beach, a sustainable community develop in the northern suburbs of Perth, will include 1.1MWh of lithium ion battery storage that will service more than 100 homes with rooftop solar panels.

The trial will also test different tariff options and retail models and services, energy efficiency devices, gas-boosted solar hot water, and an education program.

The four-year $6.7 million trial at Alkimos is being party funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and local energy utility Synergy. It is expected to start in 2016.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said cost effective energy storage will become increasingly important in the quest to include more renewables in our electricity grids.

“Working with these companies presents an opportunity to increase the use of solar PV in Australia, particularly if they adopt similar models at other residential developments,” he said.

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It is part of a broader move to incorporate battery storage into communities. In South Australia, project developers and even the state government are openly talking about the possibilities that new developments will not be connected to the electricity grid, using local renewables and storage instead.

In New York, this week, Glenwood, a builder of luxury rental properties in Manhattan, said it will deploy the first megawatt of distributed energy storage systems across a select group of buildings in its New York City real estate portfolio.

Alkimos Beach is a master-planned suburb that is billed as an “environmentall conscious sustainable community. Every home receives an “Energy Smart Home package” and every home has solar panels – albeit just 1kW for many of them. The developers say the smart home package will reduce energy costs by 50 per cent.

This week, the first 240 hectare stage of the 710 hectare development became the first community development to gain a 6-star rating from the Green Building Council. The project site will eventually host 3.6 hectares of playing fields, six hectares of conservation reserves and 41 hectares of dune and foreshore reserves.

All homes will be within 800 metres of both the local centre and transport links. Thirty per cent of the site will be reserved for open space; no home will be more than 200 metres from a park, and walking and cycle paths will link the beach, the town centre and the train station. WiFi will be provided in major public spaces to foster economic and social opportunities.

“This is a real coup for Alkimos Beach and we’re proud to be part of a trial that could help change the way energy is delivered to communities internationally,” said Tarun Gupta, the head of the Lend Lease property business in Australia.

ARENA’s Frischknecht said residential electricity storage would allow network operators to manage demand more effectively by delivering stored power into the grid at peak times.

“Combining storage and renewables has the potential to deliver significant savings to both consumers and developers by reducing grid connection costs for new homes,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“The valuable technical and commercial insights gained from this project could help overcome regulatory barriers and prove the case for adding renewables into the residential planning process.

LandCorp said the learnings from the trial could be replicated across the state and benefit “potentially all Western Australians”.

Energy Minister Mike Nahan said the trial could set new standards in future infrastructure design, management of peak demand, help consumers save money and drive long-term behavioural shift in energy use.

Energy storage technology is the next innovation in energy markets and will affect the design and operation of future energy infrastructure in new communities,” Dr Nahan said.



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  1. Connor Moran 6 years ago

    Central generation is history. Get out now.

  2. Alastair Leith 6 years ago

    Funny how Nahan has signalled storage as the next innovation in Energy markets yet his government totally refuses to acknowledge the previous set of innovations — market ready renewables — like wind (technologically mature) and solar (only just getting started).

    How about the WA Government gets on with 100% renewable targets so when storage matures it slots right into a clean, more distributed energy system. In fact his Premier says that such a thing is not remotely possible today, probably never, despite no less than three very detailed reports into potential 100% Renewable Stationary Energy Plans for Australia by BZE (2010), UNSW (2013) & AEMO (2013) and the SEN 100% RE plans for WA itself.

    • strez2Dmax 6 years ago

      Funny how the ‘astute’ politicians totally ignore ‘detailed reports’. Why?
      Nothing to do with trying to entrench their profit gouging mates into the new technologies so they can continue to suck whatever they can out of the punters?
      Gotta get your cigar money from somewhere. They aren’t going without the good life.
      No way.

      • Ian Porter 6 years ago

        The pollies are too fixated on making budgets work but ignore and forget the details and ‘tech’ – OMG no, thats too hard to understand! They won’t bend until forced – but the market is bigger than government and it’s about to face it’s biggest shakedown yet: once energy storage metrics bring grid parity into play. It will be the biggest counter revolution to peak oil and it’s just about to break and will be unstoppable. Its going to be interesting to see how this all pans out politically.

  3. Jason 6 years ago

    they are working out the business model – capital cost over how many years vs total consumption and the rate which gives a tidy profit and stabilizes the cost for the consumers … everyone is winning and emissions should start a downwards trend, let’s hope we can scale this very quickly

  4. juxx0r 6 years ago

    Sounds like designed to fail. What they are doing sounds like it’s designed to show that “we will always need the grid, oh and the gas network.”

    • Miles Harding 6 years ago

      Whenever the the word ‘sustainable’ is used, it generally has to be preceded by ‘not’.

      It’s a but naughty including the un-buildable coastal dunes in the public open space.

      I was a bit surprised by the mention of gas, but it goes with the WA state government. (Remember solar hot water that *had* to have a gas booster to qualify for state rebates?)

      It’s no longer economic to heat with gas when there are alternatives available, such as good passive design, reverse cycle air conditioners, collectors and heat pumps for water. Cooking is about the only candidate left, but induction can replace this, although there is a substantial load on the power supply. Not a problem for the Li-Ion batteries, but the inverter would need to be big.
      Eliminating the gas service would be in the developer’s interests.

      It’s certainly sounding a lot better than most developments. Of course, ‘sustainable’ is a much more difficult when the distance is considered. Alkimos is 45km from Perth city and 17km north of Joondalup. On the positive side, Butler Train station is approximately 3km away; useful if journeys go where the train goes.

  5. Energy Eric 6 years ago

    Every doomsday and knocker that has denounced this project has missed the point.. The first sentence has the word pilot in it. I’m happy to see my tax money involved in seeing what we can do for the next generation of development. Put some positive input (pardon the pun) into this people, instead of saying its destined for failure before it starts

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