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ARENA funding large-scale Tesla battery in western Sydney

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Image: TransGrid

The Australian Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will jointly fund a new large-scale, grid-connected battery located in western Sydney.

ARENA will provide up to $11.5 million in funding to TransGrid on behalf of the Australian Government to install a 50 MW / 75 MWh large-scale, grid-connected lithium ion battery at its Wallgrove substation in western Sydney.

As part of their $75 million Emerging Energy Program, the NSW Government will also provide $10 million in support for the battery.

Once completed, the $61.9 million Wallgrove Grid Battery, owned and operated by TransGrid, will provide the NSW transmission network with fast frequency response and inertia services.

Tesla will design and build the Wallgrove Grid Battery using their Megapacks to demonstrate the revolutionary product of synthetic inertia known as “Virtual Machine Mode”.

Infigen Energy, which will trade the battery in the wholesale market and frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) markets, will dispatch the battery.

“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 commercialization of battery storage.

“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.”

Darren Miller, ARENA CEO.

ARENA has previously funded five grid-scale batteries, including the extension of the Hornsdale Power Reserve, South Australia’s ESCRI and Lake Bonney batteries, and two at Ballarat and Gannawarra in Victoria.

“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.”

Darren Miller, ARENA CEO.

“TransGrid is committed to finding low cost innovative solutions to the emerging challenges of the energy transformation. 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.”

Eva Hanly, TransGrid’s executive manager of strategy, innovation and technology.

“Our innovative agreement with TransGrid shows that Infigen 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.”

Ross Rolfe, Infigen’s managing director and CEO.
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