South Australia's second big battery charges into action | RenewEconomy

South Australia’s second big battery charges into action

The second big battery in South Australia is charging up on the Yorke Peninsula.

The Dalrymple battery in South Australia.
The Dalrymple ESCRI battery storage installation is the largest indoor facility of its type.

A little more than six months after the commissioning of the Tesla big battery in South Australia, the state’s second major battery installation has begun commissioning.

The Dalrymple ESCRI battery – it stands for Energy Storage for Commercial Renewable Integration – is located on the Yorke Peninsula, half way down one of the state’s long, stringy network lines.

It is not as big as the Tesla big battery – 30MW/8MWh compared to 100MW/129MWh – but will be no less important to the local grid.

Like the Tesla big battery, officially known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve, which is situated next to the 315MW Hornsdale wind complex, the ESCRI battery is also located next to a wind farm, the 91MW Wattle Point facility.

But its role will be different to the Hornsdale facility, hence the different specifications.

It will offer grid security in the form of frequency control, but it will also offer be able to go into “islanding” mode, meaning it can keep the lights on in the local area, with the help of the local wind farm and some 2MW of local rooftop solar, in case of outages elsewhere.

It is billed as the largest indoor and climate-controlled BESS (battery energy storage system) installation in Australia, and the largest autonomous regional micro-grid development to-date.

ESCRI is located at the Dalrymple sub-station, and its web-site has some great graphic visualisations, and data that goes all the way down to wind speed, outside temperature, and battery temperature, and of course the  outputs of the various equipment.

At the moment, some of the data appears to be sample only. The ESCRI battery is expected to be in full operation in August, once commissioning is complete.

Other batteries are also planned for the state, including an initial 10MW/10MWh battery at the Lincoln Gap wind farm near Port Augusta that could treble in size.

Another, hailed to be the world’s biggest – a 120MW/140MWh battery next to a new solar farm near Port Augusta – is to be built by Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, and a 21MW/26MWh battery next to a new solar farm adjoining the Snowtown wind farm.

The ESCRI battery is owned by ElectraNet, the state transmission company, and will be operated by AGL. The project has been partly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

See also our new story revealing trading numbers for the Tesla big battery: How much money did the Tesla big battery make over summer?


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  1. Joe 2 years ago

    More of the legacy of ex-Premier Jay..

  2. Rod 2 years ago

    I’m guessing the shed is green to make it more visually attractive.
    Why the roof isn’t covered with shade producing PV to run some of those air conditioners is beyond me.

    • Tony Wilson 2 years ago

      Because it would not be cost effective. Small-scale PV costs vastly more per MW/h than grid-scale wind or solar. It is only our very high retail and distribution margins which make it effective for households. When you are an electricity utility already connected directly to bigger, cheaper generators, what would be the point? It would be like asking a bulldozer driver to get out and shovel so as to move more earth.

      • Rod 2 years ago

        The facility is climate controlled to look after the batteries. I think the cost of the actual PV would be negligible. The advantages of shading from PV is significant. Think cool roofs. Of course you could always use a cheaper method of shading. One can only hope the shed is also insulated.

        • John Saint-Smith 2 years ago

          I look forward to the day when every roof is PV and thermally active. The best form of insulation is one that uses the energy it traps to do useful work.

        • Phil Shield 2 years ago

          All air conditioned buildings in SA are insulated to meet building code requirements.

        • Ian 2 years ago

          I’m with you on this one, the schmucks were given my and your Tax money by ARENA to get their lack-of-innovation butts over the line. They can at least fork out a few paltry dollars to shade the building with solar panels, even if they are too tight to connect these to the air conditioning unit, they would probably still save money

    • Ertimus J Waffle 2 years ago

      Because the carpet bagger snake oil salesmen know how unreliable solar and renewable power is.

      • Rod 2 years ago

        LOL. My 18 year old panels are still going strong and never missed a beat.
        Remind me again. What does an electricity bill look like.

      • Mike Shackleton 2 years ago

        Except this is about increasing reliability of the (thin) grid, not compensating for intermittency of renewable generation.

      • solarguy 2 years ago

        Just like Rod below, I too don’t have an electricity bill, instead I get a credit well in excess of $100 every quarter. So punch you’re unreliability of solar BS, where the rest of your comments from.

  3. MG 2 years ago

    So the federal government is nurturing competition in SA by subsidising a battery for… AGL?

    • Ertimus J Waffle 2 years ago

      Batteries are the way of the future for all . All Australia’s power supply will be provided by Batteries soon they are efficient, Green and dont burn coal.

      • Runit 2 years ago

        In years to come we are going to be asking ourselves how did we fall for the nonsense that batteries are good for the environment, they are toxic and cannot be recycled without damaging the planet we live on.

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