A 500kWh Tesla battery has been added to a 500kW rooftop solar system at a council depot in the Sydney CBD, marking the city’s first grid-scale Powerpack installation.
The newly operational battery system was unveiled at the Alexandra Canal Depot on Thursday, as part of a trial of behind the meter energy storage being conducted by NSW network operator Transgrid.
For the City of Sydney, the battery will store excess power generated by the rooftop solar system, and minimise the grid consumption of the new Depot – which will accommodate 155 city workers and a fleet of 40 vehicles once officially opened at the end of the month.
For TransGrid, the battery will be part of a demand management trial, allowing the network to manage the storage system remotely in times of peak demand, relieving stress on the grid.
By doing so, Transgrid hopes to to reduce the need for investment in the transmission network – and ultimately cut costs passed on to consumers.
“We know our customers want to see more innovative services that help reduce costs,” Transgrid CEO Paul Italiano said in comments on Thursday.
“This initiative with City of Sydney will afford the depot a significant amount of energy self-sufficiency while also sharing benefits with the wider community through the electricity network,”
“By partnering with a site where this service is needed, we can provide a benefit to support the City of Sydney’s renewable energy goals and reduce the costs of the council’s depot.”
The City of Sydney has set a target for 50 per cent of all of its electricity to come from renewables by 2030.
“By mid-2021, we expect to have more than 7,800 solar panels on the roofs of our properties,” said Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore in comments on Thursday.
“This agreement with TransGrid means that facilities like our depot can be powered by solar energy, even when the sun is blocked by clouds and in the early evening, when the sun is setting but demand on the grid is still strong.
“We expect the new depot will be certified carbon neutral, because on many days the solar
panels on the roof produce more energy than is consumed onsite.
“Apart from the 600 tonnes of carbon emissions we will save every year, this trial will allow TransGrid to better understand the impact on the grid as more energy storage solutions like our new depot are installed across the Sydney metropolitan area.
“As the mix of storage and generation on our electricity grid changes, solar solutions like this could provide reliability and resilience to our electricity network and potentially prevent blackouts.”
This article was originally published on RenewEconomy’s sister site, One Step Off The Grid, which focuses on customer experience with distributed generation. To sign up to One Step’s free weekly newsletter, please click here.