Fluence plays role in energy storage projects in Australia

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A consortium that includes Washington D.C.-based joint venture Fluence will work together on large, new energy storage projects in Australia, the partners announced Thursday.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Victorian government signed a deal for a 30 MW, 30 MWh battery system at the AusNet Service Ballarat Terminal Station in Warrenheip, Ballarat. The consortium which will design, construct and operate Victoria’s first utility-scale grid-connected energy storage includes Fluence, Spotless, AusNet Services and EnergyAustralia.

“We’re proud to partner with this supergroup of Australia’s energy companies and together help Victoria create an energy network that can weather any challenge,” Fluence CEO Stephen Coughlin said in a statement. “With this new project, Australia becomes the 16th country in which we’ve deployed our industrial-strength energy storage solutions over the last decade, and we look forward to delivering many more Australian storage projects in the future.”

The system will have nine battery enclosures for the lithium-ion batteries, operating system and environmental controls. It will operate 24/7 and has capacity to power more than 20,000 homes for an hour of critical peak demand or offer frequency control services, according to the release.

Work begins this month with completion expected by November.

Spotless Sustainability Services will manage the design and construction of the project with Fluence providing the battery energy storage system. AusNet Services will own the asset, while EnergyAustralia will operate it.

“Our comprehensive experience and constant learnings demonstrate that the future of energy will include a diverse mix of power generation and storage solutions. This project is another fantastic step towards an even more resilient, modern energy network and further demonstrates what is possible when industry and government work together,” said Nino Ficca, managing director of AusNet Services. “Large batteries, such as this one, are critical to providing clean, affordable and reliable energy now and for many years to come. AusNet Services is proud of our involvement in this project and is confident that this will be the first of many such projects in Victoria and across the country.”

The project will cost about $25 million, as will another energy storage system being built at the Gannawarra solar farm near Kerang, Victoria. The 20 MW/50MWh system will integrate with the 60-MW solar farm there.

Edify Energy and Wirsol will own the energy storage system, while Tesla will supply the batteries. EnergyAustralia will operate the batteries under long-term offtake agreements.

“Battery storage will play a crucial role in the future energy mix, alongside other forms of storage and in conjunction with variable renewables and demand management,” ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said in a statement.

Fluence is a joint venture of AES Corp. and Siemens launched in January. In addition to the Australian effort and previous AES storage projects already under way, Fluence has announced a 100 MW/400 MWh installation in AES’ Alamitos power center in California and a 10-MW project in India.


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