ARENA to provide $11.5m in funding for a new large-scale, grid-connected battery in western Sydney

Image Credit: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced that it will provide up to $11.5 million in funding to TransGrid to build a $61.9 million Wallgrove Grid Battery that will charge up the NSW energy grid.

Designed and constructed by Tesla, the Wallgrove Grid Battery will be dispatched by Infigen Energy, a developer, owner and operator of renewable energy generation assets in Australia.

The Wallgrove Grid Battery  is set to be installed at TransGrid’s Wallgrove substation in Western Sydney and will be directly connected into the transmission network to provide synthetic inertia and fast frequency response services.

“Energy storage is one of the priority technologies under the Australian Government’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement released last month, and ARENA has already played a key role in supporting the commercialisation of battery storage,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller in a press release.

“The Wallgrove Grid Battery will demonstrate the technical capability of batteries with advanced inverter capabilities to substitute traditional inertia. In doing so, TransGrid will demonstrate that batteries can provide the most cost-effective solution for NSW’s projected upcoming inertia shortfall.”

According to TransGrid’s Executive Manager of Strategy, Innovation and Technology Eva Hanly, this will be the first battery in NSW to pilot grid scale synthetic inertia as a network service.

“It’s a step forward for the NSW grid and the National Electricity Market. This innovation will help accelerate the industry’s transformation to a low-carbon energy system, at a lower cost to customers,” said Ms Hanly.

Infigen’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Ross Rolfe, AO, stated that the agreement is further proof that the company continues to be at the forefront of the clean energy transition in Australia.

“Our arrangement allows Infigen to sell more clean energy to customers and allows TransGrid to improve the strength of the network in Australia. It is also pleasing to see Infigen continuing to grow rapidly, supported by the resources and expertise of our new controlling security holder, Iberdrola,” Mr Rolfe.

The detailed design work is set to be completed by the end of February 2021, and the testing program is scheduled to run between Q4 2021 and Q42023.

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