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Ausgrid to trial 60kW battery storage system in Sydney

By Giles Parkinson on 24 September 2013
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NSW network operator Ausgrid is installing a 60kW battery storage system in the Sydney suburb of Newington to see how it can help manage summer peak demand events.

The installation of the lithium-ion storage system is the biggest battery trial so far for Augrid, which operates in the eastern half of Sydney, the central coast and the Hunter region.

It is also the first battery storage installation on its side of the meter. A recently completed trial in the Hunter as part of the Smart City, Smart Grid program had 65 5kW battery storage systems in different homes in suburban Newcastle.

Ausgrid’s Paul Myors says the focus of the new trial would be to see how the battery storage functioned over the summer months, how it coped in hot ambient temperatures, and how it helped the operator cope with peak demand.

“Managing peak summer demand is our key driver as network operator. If we can knock that on the head, that’s a big saving for us,” he told RenewEconomy.

The full results of the suburban battery storage program, which used batteries from Australian developer RedFlow about the size of a small fridge, have not been released.

But Myors said the program showed that the technology was reliable and customer acceptance was good. One of the key challenges was making sure that the storage was able to dispatch for the entire peak period. “Peak lasts for a certain number of hours. You don’t want battery to run out of puff, because you will the lose benefit for the network.

Myors said there was still an “interesting” argument about batteries are best placed on the customer side of meter or the network side of the meter. The customers can get benefits if storing at low tariffs times and discharging at high tariff times, and there were benefits in using it as a back-up.
More reneweconomy.com.au

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