RES, Lloyds consider 100MW battery storage plant in South Australia

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RES, Lloyds Register look at 100MW battery storage plant in SA to show cheaper and more secure option than new transmission lines or gas plants.

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RES, one of the world’s biggest developers of battery storage plants, is to team up with engineering firm Lloyds Register to look at a 100MW lithium-ion battery storage plant in South Australia – to show that is a cheaper and more secure option than new transmission lines or gas plants.

The $100 million project could be built next year, in a fraction of the time it would take to build a vastly more costly, multi-billion dollar transmission line linking the renewable energy leading state with NSW or Victoria.

The announcement comes at the same time as RES and Lloyds reveal the result of modelling that shows inverter-connected solar and storage plants would likely have kept the South Australian grid stable, even with the tumultuous damage caused by the storm on September 28 that led to a state-wide blackout.

The modelling suggests that “wobbling” output of the gas generators might have been the principal cause of the instability in the grid that led to the separation from Victoria.

The ageing, slow reacting gas plants constantly overshot as they struggled to manage the system faults caused by the collapse of three major transmission lines, causing the grid to become unstable.

“(Grid) operators are faced with a huge challenge to protect energy generation supply and demand in extreme weather conditions,” said Jeremy Moon, the head of technical at RES in Australia.

“We understand this requires investment long-term and the adoption of new technology and solutions that enable sustainable energy provision now and in the future.”

RES has already installed 145MW of lithium-ion storage across the world, accounting for a significant share of the market in the UK and in the US, where battery storage is used to provide network services and help stabilise the grid. Lloyds role in the project is an advisory one, not as an investor.

 

Moon says demand for energy storage is expected to increase after the South Australia blackout, and as a result of the search for newer and flexible systems such as battery storage to ensure system security.

Most of the emphasis in the public arena has been on limiting wind and solar, building more gas plants, and investing billions in new interconnectors.

Moon, and Andrew Jones, from Lloyds, say this is not necessary. “South Australia is incredible resource rich for power,” Moon says, noting the ample wind and solar resources.

“We keep reading about power price surges and not having enough power, but it does not compute. Having a storage type solution allows you to fully utilise those assets, and get a much better outcome at a fraction of the cost, and it doesn’t lock us into a 40 year asset that consumers will have to pay for.”

Jones agrees that technology solutions in energy storage can be leveraged to help operators use more cost-effective and locally produced energy.

RES has more than 12GW of installed renewable energy capacity across the globe, including the 107MW Taralga wind farm and is currently building the 242MW Ararat wind farm. It has operated in Australia for 12 years and is also developing the Twin Creek wind project in South Australia.

Lloyd’s Register is a global engineering, technical and business services organisation wholly owned by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to research and education in science and engineering.

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12 Comments
  1. trackdaze 2 years ago

    Way to go. 100mw’s is maybe 10%? of where SA needs to be.

    As each day passes the business case improves for storage on both sides.

  2. Bristolboy 2 years ago

    In the last couple of days RES have also been granted permission for the 420MW Murray Warra wind farm.

    http://renews.biz/105187/aussie-mega-farm-joy-for-res/

  3. Ian 2 years ago

    The old useless reporting of storage in terms of power output. 100MW of storage. Would that be for 1Hr, 12hrs, continuously? If it’s for 100MWH of storage that would be $1000/KWH, no longer competitive with tesla’ s new Powerwall. High voltage powerlines are not cheap, especially if transmission distance is large.ball park figure $2million/km for 1GW. Melbourne to Adelaide 700km approx., but then again, renewable solar and wind projects will be strung along the countryside right the way from Melbourne to Adelaide, how are a few little batteries going to get all that energy to the population centres? There is still going to need to be investment in electricity transmission lines between geographically distant areas. MurraWarra wind farm ,being developed by RES is bang in the middle of the line between Melbourne and Adelaide! Maybe RES will put wheels on their 100MW batteries and shuttle them rapidly between their wind farm and Adelaide!

    • David leitch 2 years ago

      I think $1000 KWh is the going rate., similar to other numbers I’ve heard quoted recently, These batteries have to have similar inverters to household batteries but also specialised housing, either containerised or in a building including air conditioning and fire suppression equipment.

      Arguably the storage is better spread around the grid in say 20 x 5 MWh. This might cost a bit more but provides other functions like localised grid support.

      The more you look at it, the more household storage seems like a great idea from the network perspective, even more than household solar.

      • Ian 2 years ago

        Thank you, David. Paragraph 2 of the article seems to compare this battery investment to a new high voltage transmission line to the coal plants in Victoria and New South Wales. It’s a good dig at the idea of transporting ‘baseload’ coal power all the way to Adelaide, but actually we really do need long distant transmission lines to connect the major cities and regional centres with the numerous wind farms and solar farms between these major centres. As you say batteries at different points along the transmission line might help to optimise the utilisation of a high tension power line

  4. Ray Miller 2 years ago

    Re the use of SI units, prefixes and derived units and important specifications.
    I’ve noticed increasing careless use of units and prefixes in RE articles and comments which not only perpetuates the incorrect use of units and prefixes but also adds unnecessary confusion.

    The use of power and energy when intermixed is even more confusing. The so called energy industry “professionals” frequently show their ignorance in this space.

    When using any reference to energy storage not mentioning the charge and discharge rate and characteristics in Watts nor the capacity in Energy and also the energy efficiency of both. The expected life time of the infrastructure would be exceedingly useful i.e. stored hydro and battery storage have much different working life profiles. Leaving off any of the critical specifications gives misleading information.

    I’m sure when “KWH” is used it does not mean Kelvin * Watt * Hours but the prefex kWH kilo * Watt * Hours.
    Prefixes
    http://www.npl.co.uk/reference/measurement-units/si-prefixes/
    SI Conventions
    http://www.npl.co.uk/reference/measurement-units/si-conventions/

    • DJR96 2 years ago

      Put simply, when a term is a persons name it should be a capital letter.

      Watt
      Volt
      Ampere
      Kelvin
      Celsius

      as opposed to
      kilo-
      hour
      mega (although that seems to be M)

      • Ser Lloyd 2 years ago

        Mega and milli

  5. DJR96 2 years ago

    Very disappointing that RES in their own media release don’t correctly define the proposal. Is it 100MW capacity? Or 100MWh of storage?

    It’s an important differentiation.
    100MWh of storage would be about 8% of capacity. That may not sound like much but if integrated and managed correctly it would make a huge difference.

    But 100MW capacity I think would be a bit light on. I would have thought 500-600MW would be more useful. It needs to be enough to temporarily carry loads when the inter-connector or transmission lines are tripped or connected, and needs to be able to smooth out the renewable generation, and allow more controlled ramping up or down of the gas generation. If it has the capacity to manage all that, then you get a far more reliable network.
    This project alone has the potential to turn SA’s network from the most at risk to the most reliable. Bring it on!

    • Giles 2 years ago

      Again, it is because they probably haven’t decided on the configuration. I know people prefer MWh to MW, but sometimes that is what you get. Like the California regulators, whose target is measured in MW not MWh, ditto for European mandates.

      • DJR96 2 years ago

        You’re probably right.
        At least they recognise the problem and are prepared to provide a solution. More than can be said for AEMO and the industry who don’t have either.

  6. George Papadopoulos 2 years ago

    100MW of power? I guess that means 100MW over one hour. What will SA do after that? Rely on the inter-connector which is need of an upgrade?

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