Flow Power’s new SA smart solar farm features Australian-first technology

Berri Energy Project - A first of its kind smart solar farm in Australia. Image supplied.

Renewable energy tech provider Flow Power has introduced an Australian-first technology that would help build smarter solar farms and speed up Australia’s net zero transition. 

The company has tapped into the new integrated technology to transform a former racecourse in South Australia into an advanced facility for generating and storing solar energy. 

Located 240 km northeast of Adelaide, the Berri Energy Project now houses 9,800 new solar panels and 18 battery racks and is expected to send 11,500 MWh of clean solar energy to the grid per year. 

The technology is equipped with a 5.8 MW single-axis tracking solar photovoltaic system with 6/7 MWh of DC-coupled Battery Energy Storage System. This setup enables the site to be run as a standard solar farm when demand and prices are low, while simultaneously charging the batteries. The batteries can pump energy back to the grid when demand and prices are high. 

Byron Serjeanston, COO of Flow Power, said the Berri Energy Project’s launch marks a significant milestone as the company’s first storage project and one of the first demonstrations of utility-scale DC-coupled storage in Australia. 

“Rolling this tech out is a big step forward and we expect to see many more like it in the future. By offering the choice to store or export power depending on market conditions, the Berri site is making renewables more flexible and ultimately more competitive in our transforming energy market,” Serjeanston said. 

The project also uses technology from Canadian Solar, SMA, Nextracker, and CATL, as well as Flow Power’s proprietary kWatch Controller, a smart solution that allows users to respond to market price signals. 

The Berri Energy Project brings Flow Power’s total renewable energy portfolio close to 450 MW of owned and contracted wind, solar, and storage projects. 

“This project showcases the hard work and success of our team, suppliers, contractors and network operator SAPN in reaching Commercial Operations, as well as the innovative new renewable energy retail solutions Flow Power is able to provide to our customers,” Serjeanston said.