A Western Australia stockfeed company will effectively go off-grid and slash its diesel fuel costs by 80 per cent with the installation of a 600kWh energy storage system made up of the zinc-bromine flow batteries of Brisbane-based company, Redflow.
Redflow said on Monday that the family-owned Semini Custom Feeds, located half-way between Busselton and Margaret River in Western Australia had ordered the 60x 10kWh battery system, marking what would be Redflow’s largest single energy system in Australia.
The 600kWh system, alongside a 400kW solar system is expected cut the feed stock company’s energy costs by about $120,000 a year based on current expenditure on diesel, maintenance and mains power, and eliminate its use of grid supplied electricity entirely.
The battery system will be installed by Redflow’s W.A. partner TIEC Electrical, alongside an existing on-site power plant that, over three decades of business, has expanded to comprise five diesel generators capable of producing 900 kilovolt-amperes (kVA) of power.
As the diesel system had grown, the Semini family had tried out various power management systems, to prevent excess generation from being wasted, but this approach had proven ineffective and and difficult to manage.
After approaching TIEC Electrical for advice on a system upgrade, flow battery technology was suggested as a superior alternative to solid-state batteries to harness as much energy as possible.
“We were able to demonstrate that batteries using conventional solid-state chemistries don’t offer the long-term energy storage requirements, safety properties and longevity needed by a fully off-grid site,” said TIEC Electrical principal, Leith Elsegood.
“The Redflow-based system offers major upsides in both cost savings and for the environment,” he said.
“Once TIEC has set up this system, it will greatly reduce the amount of diesel we need, which will be good for both our profitability and for the environment,” said Semini Custom Feeds CEO and managing director Jack Semini.
“I am convinced that a Redflow battery energy storage system can match the performance of diesel generators in providing stable and reliable power – all the while reducing our reliance on fossil fuels,” he said.
For Redflow, the order for 60 of its 10kWh zinc-bromine flow batteries further establishes the home-grown company as a serious contender in the market for off-grid energy storage solutions, particularly for the agriculture industry.
Elsewhere in W.A., a 40kWh Redflow battery system was combined with solar to take a 26-year old cattle farm and fruit orchard off the grid, also in partnership with TIEC.
“We needed batteries that were reliable, efficient and safe to use and were not affected by heat. Leith has an enormous passion for the Redflow battery, because of its simplicity and its ability to do the job. The fact that the ZBM2 battery is recyclable was a big attraction for us,” the farm’s owner Jeff Murray said back in March of this year.
And a month earlier, TIEC had also helped the Yallalong cattle station in W.A.’s Murchison region install four of Redflow’s 10kWh ZCell batteries and a 15kVA Victron Quattro inverter to store energy from 9.5kW/peak solar array.
Redflow Managing Director and CEO Tim Harris said this week that the company was delighted that its energy storage technology was chosen for the Semini Custom Feeds project.
“Following deployment, intended for the first quarter of next year, it will be Redflow’s largest single energy system in Australia,” he said.
“This important milestone for Redflow demonstrates how our new Large Scale Battery design can scale successfully to meet customers’ larger industrial requirements and broader utility-scale deployments.”