Australia’s ‘largest array-forming battery’ moves forward after funding deal


Construction of what is being hailed as Australia’s ‘largest approved grid-forming battery’ will continue in Wiradjuri country in the Riverina region of New South Wales, after developer Edify Energy announced the successful conclusion of a financing agreement led by Federation Asset Management.

Edify said on Tuesday that the 150MW/300MWh (two-hour) Tesla Magapack-based Riverina Battery energy storage system secured a long-term syndicated credit facility through Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and DNB and underlined by direct debit agreements established.

Edify says the financing deal, which establishes Federation Asset Management as majority owner, will launch “the largest utility-scale network formation plant in the national electricity market, providing one of the NEM’s most advanced energy storage systems”.

For Federation Asset Management, the Riverina BESS will be the seed asset of its Sustainable Australian Real Asset (SARA) fund, an Australian pure play energy transition fund managed by Federation.

Edify, meanwhile, will retain its stake in the project and will take on the construction management and long-term asset management roles for the batteries.

The Riverina BESS was first announced in May 2021 as a 100MW/200MWh project, on the back of a power supply agreement between Edify, Shell and the NSW government.

At that time, Shell had signed a contract with Edify for a 60MW/120MWh component of the so-called RESS as part of its ‘hardening’ bid for the NSW electricity contract, which serves hospitals, schools and the buildings.

Edify now says the fully funded project will consist of three separate partitions: the 60MW/120MWh RESS 1; a 65 MW/130 MW SRES 2; and a 25 MW/50 MWh Darlington Point Energy Storage System (DPESS).

The three facilities will be located adjacent to Edify’s 275MW (AC) Darlington Point solar farm, a generation asset that would have been a key factor in Shell’s successful bid for the $3.2 billion contract to to supply renewable energy to the NSW government.

Edify says Tesla’s three energy storage facilities will be equipped with grid-forming inverters that will operate in “virtual synchronous generator” mode, providing system-to-grid power services in the Riverina area.

“It’s exciting for Edify to deliver another ‘first to market’ facility,” Edify chief executive John Cole said in a statement on Tuesday.

“In this case, we are using the combination of the dispatchable properties of batteries with a new vintage of network-forming inverter control systems to create a generator capable of providing power system support services, which have traditionally been provided by thermal generators. synchronous.

“It is a testament to the capabilities of the Edify team that we obtained approval from AEMO and TransGrid to operate the batteries in ‘virtual synchronous generator’ mode from the start of commercial operations,” added Cole.

“This installation provides additional load and resistance to the network in an area where both add a lot of value. Edify will continue to move towards a 100% renewable future with the confidence of a stable and reliable electrical system. »

EnergyAstralia chief executive Mark Collette said the new battery projects would allow more renewables to enter the system in the Riverina region.

“These technologies will become the backbone of a modern energy system that will step in and keep lights on when electricity demand is high, while allowing solar power to be used – even when the sun isn’t shining,” did he declare. .

Edify said construction on the project would begin “in the near future” and aimed to be completed in stages during the first half of 2023.

“This best-in-class battery is to be built on the traditional lands of the proud Wiradjuri people, the largest Aboriginal nation in New South Wales,” Edify said. “[We] recognizing the Wiradjuri people as the traditional custodians of this land and their deep understanding of how to live in harmony with the environment.

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