First large-scale grid battery in NSW coming to Western Sydney


TransGrid welcomes today’s announcements by Minister Taylor and Minister Kean of the decision by the NSW Government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to award funding for the installation of the first large-scale grid battery in NSW, at TransGrid’s Wallgrove substation in Western Sydney.

The Wallgrove Grid Battery project will trial the use of a 50MW/75MWh lithium ion battery to provide fast frequency response and synthetic inertia services to the NSW transmission network. These network services help keep the grid stable, and will become increasingly important as the energy system adapts to accommodate higher levels of renewable generation connecting into the grid.

TransGrid’s Executive Manager of Strategy, Innovation and Technology, Eva Hanly, said: “TransGrid is committed to finding low cost innovative solutions to the emerging challenges of the energy transformation. This will be the first battery in NSW to pilot grid scale synthetic inertia as a network service.”

“It’s a step forward for the NSW grid and the National Electricity Market. This innovation will help accelerate the industry’s transformation to a low-carbon energy system, at a lower cost to customers.” said Ms Hanly.

The power system currently relies on inertia provided by large spinning turbines inside coal, gas and hydro generators to maintain a consistent frequency and help the system ride out any disturbances. As coal-fired generators retire and more wind and solar generation connect to the grid, alternate sources of inertia will be needed to stabilise the network. Batteries offer a solution to this challenge at a small fraction of the cost of traditional technologies such as synchronous condensers. HoustonKemp has assessed the direct benefits to NSW electricity customers of this trial to be within a range of $93m to $135m.

Research and results from the trial will be shared to support future projects and help demonstrate that battery technology is a low cost and technically viable solution to the emerging challenge created by the transformation of the generation sector. Additionally, the trial will provide a foundation for third-party battery providers to submit credible options to TransGrid in future relevant regulatory investment tests for transmission (RIT-T). 

The battery will also be used by Infigen Energy who will have dispatch control of the battery for energy arbitrage and Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS). These uses are complementary to the network services and ensure the full capacity of the battery is optimally utilised – which helps provide network services at the lowest possible cost to customers.  

The battery will be designed and constructed by Tesla using Tesla Megapacks, and connected directly to TransGrid’s transmission network.

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