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?
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, and is also the founder of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and founder/editor of www.TheDriven.io. Giles has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.