Victorian network operator AusNet Services has revealed plans to install a 1MWh lithium-on battery storage system on its grid in the state’s far-east, in a bid to improve the reliability of power supply for the regional town of Mallacoota.
Announced this week, AusNet said the Mallacoota Area Grid Storage (MAGS) installation, would reduce the number of local outage events – both planned and unplanned – by around 90 per cent.
The $2.5 million project will establish a large-scale li-ion battery (no manufacturer named yet) with a generator and associated equipment at the East Gippsland Water Treatment Plant on Genoa-Mallacoota Road, just outside the Mallacoota township.
AusNet says the battery – which will have the capacity to power 1000 average homes for approximately two hours – will be charged from the grid, and will then feed power back into it during local outages.
“Mallacoota was chosen because of its location at the end of a long radial high voltage line from Bairnsdale, said AusNet Services executive general manager of regulated energy services, Alistair Parker.
“As such, it has been historically susceptible to power outages caused by storms, vegetation and animals, and has also suffered the impact of restoration delays as crews travel long distances to undertake repairs in the area.
“We anticipate that MAGS will be operational around early September 2019. We expect to transport the battery down from Melbourne in March, and we are aiming to commission the new facility well before the next summer season.”
The project puts Mallacoota at the cutting edge of edge-of-grid technology, as one of few places in Australia – for now, anyway – to have its local network supported by large-scale battery storage.
In South Australia, the Dalrymple battery – a 30MW/8MWh that is owned by local transmission company ElectraNet and will be operated by AGL Energy – has been going through is paces in its place at the end of the network on the Yorke Peninsula.
That BESS – while next to a wind farm – will have a similar function to the MAGS, offering grid security in the form of frequency control, as well as being able to go into “islanding” mode, meaning it can keep the lights in case of outages.
And in Ballarat, AusNet recently officially opened its 30MW/30MWh facility at the Ballarat terminal station , to be operated under contract by EnergyAustralia.
That project uses battery storage units provided by Fluence, a joint venture between Siemens and AES, and installed by Spotless and Downer Group – and, as we reported here, is part of a second wave of big batteries that will help transform the Australian grid.
AusNet says a public information session for the MAGS battery array will be held at the Mallacoota Mud Brick Pavilion at 7pm on Wednesday, November 21 to explain the project to residents and answer questions.