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Boosting energy reliability on Lower Yorke Peninsula

Video: Dalrymple ESCRI-SA Battery Project

Pioneering solutions in renewables switch

As electricity systems around the world move to a low-carbon future, grid-forming energy storage is a critical technology in enabling the transition to a grid powered solely by renewable energy.

Currently, power systems in Australia, and other parts of the world, are facing stability challenges due to more and more renewable energy displacing conventional generation. This conventional generation has always provided critical services to keep grids stable; inertia and system strength, without which threatens the reliability of the power systems, and limits the amount of renewable generation that can be connected and operated.

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Hitachi Energy is committed to leading the way in pioneering technology solutions that keep power systems stable throughout the renewable energy transition. A good example is Hitachi Energy's Dalrymple battery energy storage system (BESS) project in partnership with ElectraNet, South Australia’s transmission network service provider.

The 30 MW / 8 MWh Dalrymple BESS operates in grid-forming mode, and this means, for the very first time, stability services such as inertia and system strength are provided to the Australian power system from battery energy storage rather than fossil fuel generators.

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The project also boosts energy reliability to the Lower Yorke Peninsula by backing up the region during a grid outage. If the grid fails, the Dalrymple BESS, AGL’s 90MW Wattle Point wind farm and community seamlessly disconnect and operate as an independent, islanded power system.

During this sequence, customers don’t notice any interruption to their power supply. This is because the Dalrymple BESS is already in grid-forming mode and when the grid is lost, it provides the reference for the wind farm, rooftop solar and community to follow, ride through and stay online.

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The Dalrymple BESS sets the frequency of the islanded grid which the wind farm and rooftop solar follow to provide energy, with no fossil fuel generators online. The islanded power system can operate like this indefinitely with Hitachi Energy’s overarching controls limiting the wind farm and roof top solar when necessary to ensure everything stays within operating boundaries.

When the grid returns, the Dalrymple BESS adjusts the frequency of the islanded system to align with the grid and then autonomously reconnects to continue supporting the broader Australian grid.

As the first project to demonstrate these services, Dalrymple BESS is very much ahead of its time, and leaves a strong legacy today on how to reach the zero emissions grids of the future.

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Partnering for innovation

As the Dalrymple battery is the first transmission grid-connected battery in the National Electricity Market (NEM), and provides both regulated and competitive market services, its success was driven by significant innovation.

Firstly, Hitachi Energy and its partner ElectraNet had to develop a first-of-its-kind commercial model, which was needed to provide regulated reliability and security services while also delivering competitive market services.

Then, they had to navigate the NEM registration, licensing and connection processes for the first time, not only for the sake of their own project, but to pave the way for others to follow in the transition to renewables.

And finally, they had to manage the largest autonomous regional micro-grid development to date, optimising it for both grid-connected and islanded operation with 100% renewables.

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Delivering an advanced solution

The battery facility was constructed by Adelaide company Consolidated Power Projects, who worked with international power company ABB and battery provider Samsung to deliver the project. Construction commenced in October 2017, and the site was energised in April 2018.

The Dalrymple battery also works with AGL’s existing 90 MW Wattle Point Wind Farm and community rooftop solar panels to provide back-up power in the event of any interruption to supply from the grid.

By taking advantage of South Australia’s world-leading levels of wind and solar PV generation relative to demand, Hitachi showed how batteries can make the most of existing grid connections.

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Sharing knowledge for the future

Hitachi is committed to decarbonisation, and Dalrymple is a key example of the role Hitachi’s innovative battery storage solutions will play in ensuring efficient and reliable energy during renewable transitions.

Not only does the project deliver energy reliability for the Lower Yorke Peninsula, it includes an extensive knowledge sharing program about the system’s performance as part of ElectraNet’s agreement with part-funder the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). This represents unprecedented levels of transparency for a project of this size and nature, paving the way for the future projects across the entire industry.

Sharing knowledge for the future