WA switches on the country’s biggest industrial battery system

WA switches on the country’s biggest industrial battery system 200 160 Energy Storage Journal

Australian utility Alinta Energy announced on April 12 it had switched on the country’s biggest industrial application lithium ion battery at its Newman Power Station in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The 30MW/11.4MWh battery is capable of operating as a stand-alone system or can supply power if one or all of the station’s gas turbine generators fail or while a standby gas turbine starts and takes up load.

The lithium ion batteries were supplied by Korea’s Kokam, which teamed with ABB Australia to form an integrated microgrid.

As a stand-alone system, the ESS will provide grid services including frequency control, voltage regulation, synthetic inertia, short circuit current and load control to the high voltage network.

The ESS can also operate in a grid forming mode in an islanded system and power a 220 kV high-voltage power system (overhead transmission lines, substations and an iron ore mine) with up to 30MW of load, without support from any other generation source.

Alinta Energy MD & CEO Jeff Dimery said the system would demonstrate how renewable generation and other disruptive technologies can help tackle the three main issues (the so-called triumvirate) of the future power supply: security of supply, cost and tackling climate control concerns.

Dimery said: “For the iron ore industry in the Pilbara, generating hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars’ worth of output an hour, a reliable energy supply is crucial. This battery will let us better handle peak demand periods, increase reliability for our customers and lower our emissions as a result.”

The battery supports the 178MW open cycle gas turbine at the power station by emulating a 30MW gas turbine and providing spinning reserve. It also delivers frequency control, voltage regulation and reduces peak demand on the gas turbine at the Newman Power Station.