First suburban-scale battery planned for Canberra

Forget mega-batteries – the future is numerous decentralised small solar PV arrays and storage batteries in individual suburbs supplying Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) according to Canberra’s Elvin Group.

The company today announced a five Mega Watt Hour Tesla battery for the Canberra suburb of Holt, that will provide utility and grid support in the ACT.

In what is billed as Australia’s first decentralised grid support project, the Holt small-scale battery will be followed by a second stage 500kw solar farm to help power the battery.

Elvin Group Renewables managing director, Sam Blackadder said the 5MWh battery will have the capacity to service the average energy needs of 5,400 households for an hour, and will also stand ready to pump power into the grid in the event of a shortfall, making sharing between ACT and NSW more efficient.

Blackadder said: “We are excited by this project, not only is it a major ‘in-front of meter’ installation in Australia but it is the first stage of a nationwide move to renewable energy and a wholesale reduction in our carbon emissions.

“The aim of this installation is to show that community how renewable resources are a viable solution to meet Canberra’s needs for stable, reliable, consistent and environmentally positive energy.”

Elvin is working with ACT network distributor, Evoenergy on the project, and has not received any government funding.

Blackadder said that as the project is expanded, batteries could be placed at strategic sites around the grid, to inject bursts of power to fill gaps in dispatchable supply through a virtual power plant (VPP).

“The growth of Canberra’s population and more frequent extreme weather events have increased the demands on reliable power supply throughout the ACT.

“Over the past two years, the impact of storm events, hot summers and the devastating bushfires placed increased risk on the Territory’s power supply.

“Networks are looking for non-network options that help avoid extended brownouts and blackouts and fluctuating voltage.”

Elvin is involved in projects developing hydrogen hubs in New South Wales and Queensland which will feature local Australian built and developed electrolysers, with plans to have these manufactured in Canberra.

Elvin Group is an active National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) ACT Cluster member focusing on the adoption and projects focused on Hydrogen

Blackadder said: “As part of the Holt project we will also be installing a 500 kW ground based solar array which will help ensure the operating ability of the battery during early afternoon evening peak loads.”

Picture: Elvin Group

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