Hydro Tasmania is set to install a 300kWh lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to power an Australian Island.
Although unconfirmed at this stage the company plans to install a lithium-ion battery with around 800kW power transfer for the AUS$12.88million (US$9.7m) Flinders Island project.
If lithium-ion is used it will mark a step away from the lead-acid BESS used in the firm’s King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project (KIREIP). The 1.6MWh battery was the largest ever installed in Australia at the time.
The battery for Flinders will be smaller due to the power system itself being smaller, and because of observations from KIREIP being used to optimise the size of the battery.
However, whichever battery is chosen it will use the same combination of Diesel UPS (flywheel), dynamic resistor, battery and Hydro Tasmania’s proprietary control system as seen at KIREP.
A Hydro Tasmania spokesman said: “We have not made a conscious decision to move away from lead acid, it’s just that the Lithium-Ion bids were more attractive.
This is mainly because of the decision to pursue a containerised approach so that manufacturing and testing can be done under factory conditions rather in remote areas.
“The higher energy density of Lithium batteries lends itself to containerisation more easily than lead acid, leading to more attractive bids.”
She added: “Battery chemistry appears to be less important than power conversion system capability in the choice of battery supplier.”
It would also mean the company has rejected the Vanadium Redox Battery (VRB) it installed as part of King Island Renewable Energy Expansion (KIREX) in 2003. The VRB system failed after a relatively short life, and was decommissioned after an investigation found restoration would not be economically viable.
When conditions such as high winds allow, the battery can store excess wind energy to power the island for approximately 45 minutes.
Design work and tenders have been received with orders for long lead time equipment due to be placed in the next few weeks. Site work is due to be completed by November 2016.
The project will lead to Flinders Island receiving the majority of its energy from renewable sources within two years.
The project received around AUS$5.5 million (US$4.1m) funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).