A ground-breaking large-scale community energy storage trial is set to go ahead in Western Australia’s Alkimos Beach after the tender to supply the 1.1MHh battery system for the project was awarded to local group, Energy Made Clean.
As we reported back in March, the pioneering project – which could change the way new housing estates source their electricity – will be conducted at a sustainable community development in the northern suburbs of Perth, led by WA electricity generator and retailer, Synergy, in partnership with property developers Lendlease and Landcorp.
The four-year $6.7 million trial, scheduled to commence in 2016, is being party funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Synergy.
It will include 1.1MWh of lithium ion battery storage that will service more than 100 homes with rooftop solar panels, with the aim of testing the integration of energy storage into a traditional network, as part of the “next wave” of renewable energy technology.
Synergy said on Thursday it had selected the Perth-based company to supply the storage system for the trial due to its demonstrated experience across significant commercial-scale solar projects, as well as in off-grid solar plus storage.
This includes the successful installation of a 640kWh battery storage system to accompany a 325kW of solar on WA’s Thevenard Island.
The hybrid mini grid (pictured below) – designed and built entirely by EMC – was launched in December 2015 to supply the power needs of an eco-tourism resort on WA’s northwest Pilbara Coastal region.
It has since achieved renewable penetration of more than 90 per cent, even powering through a category-three cyclone in March that, on the mainland, caused a total loss of power for all WA customers on the Horizon Power grid.
For the Alkimos Beach project, EMC will assemble and commission the 1.1MWh energy storage system at its new Perth factory before installing it on-site in September. The company says it plans to have the grid-connected storage system operational by December 2015.
The trial will offer participating residents virtual energy storage; rebates for solar PV, solar hot water systems and other energy efficient appliances; an in-home energy display unit monitoring generation and usage; variable power price plans; and an energy efficiency education program.
“The trial will provide valuable lessons about the integration of energy storage into a traditional network and, insights into the products we want to provide to our customers in the future,” said Synergy CEO Jason Waters in a statement on Thursday.
EMC CEO John Davidson said the company expected the project to provide valuable data and insights about the “relatively new” energy storage technology, and how best to integrate it into a traditional network.
This article was first published at RenewEconomy.