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First-of-its-kind energy storage facility in Australia

  • A large Australian power grid operator, SP Ausnet, has commissioned a 1MW/1MWh battery storage facility. The technology could mean the introduction of a new approach to deal with peak demand, and avoid costly network upgrades.

  • Peak demand is the highest point of electricity consumption during the day. This is usually around 5:30 pm, when there is a combination of office and domestic demand.
  • For utilities, peak demand can be a very expensive moment: To meet the significantly higher demand during peak hours, utilities may need to invest in extra power generating capacity and invest in (expensive) upgrades of power lines.
  • To reduce costs, and to include power from irregular sources such as solar and wind power, battery storage is expected to play an important role in Australia.
  • The country is considered to be a prime market for battery storage, because its networks have to cover such large distances.
  • For SP Ausnet (Melbourne based), ABB and Samsung will build what they call a hybrid Grid Energy Storage and Diesel Generation System. It will include battery storage (using lithium ion batteries) and a 1MW diesel generator.
  • This is said to be the first embedded grid-scale battery storage installation of its size in Australia.
  • The storage facility is a mobile device, which comes in seven containers so it can be deployed at different parts of the network.
  • The project is due to be completed in 2014.

Peak demand, explained in a graph: