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NSW to get a new big battery as renewable power surges

A battery worth $62 million is being installed in western Sydney as governments work with industry to help stabilise the electricity grid as the share of renewable energy grows.

The federal government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency will contribute $11.5 million to the battery, to be built by Tesla, and $10 million will come from the NSW government.

TransGrid will own and operate the 50 MW/75 MWh grid-connected lithium ion battery, which will be installed at its Wallgrove substation.

Supply from large scale wind and solar farms ranges up and down depending on the weather, making it more challenging to maintain stable, secure energy systems compared the more predictable output from coal and gas-fired power plants.

Federal Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the battery fitted the government’s low emissions Technology Roadmap policy, which nominated batteries a priority.

“This project will test the role and capability of batteries to bolster the grid, helping to improve the technology,” Mr Taylor said.

NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean said “as we bring more wind and solar into our electricity system, it is cutting-edge big battery projects like the Wallgrove grid battery that will help to maintain reliability and keep the lights on across the state”.

The battery will supply into the National Energy Market’s frequency control ancillary services market.

To keep frequency of the grid in balance, and to prevent supply disruptions, requires a fast injection or reduction of energy from time to time.

“Large scale batteries have a big role to play in firming and balancing our electricity system as we move towards a future energy mix with higher penetration of renewable energy,” ARENA chief executive Darren Miller said.

TransGrid executive Eva Hanly said the battery would “accelerate the industry’s transformation to a low-carbon energy system, at a lower cost to customers”.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald