Australia’s Northern Territory state government is calling for expressions of interest to build a large-scale energy storage system of 25-45MW.
Tender documents published by the government say the facility would support the grid in the state capital of Darwin and the town of Katherine.
Commercial operation of the facility is “targeted” for fiscal 2018-19.
According to the government, the Darwin-Katherine network “is the largest power system in the Northern Territory and supplies the city, suburbs and surrounding areas of Darwin, along with the township of Katherine and its surrounding rural areas”.
The battery storage would be used to balance supply from large-scale solar farms connected to the Darwin-Katherine power network, as well as from rooftop solar.
The government said “a high efficiency energy storage system that optimises maintenance costs and fulfils the broader cost saving objectives of the project will be considered the preferred solution”. Companies interested in tendering for the project “are required to mention the design life of the plant and its component” and must submit expressions of interest by 22 January.
The exact location of the battery storage facility is yet to be determined, the state government said.
Last summer, Energy Renaissance (ER) said it would build a “specific and niche” lithium-ion battery gigafactory in Darwin, which would start production by late 2018.
In a separate move, Australian mining firm Core Exploration said last October it has applied for a licence to develop one of the country’s highest-grade lithium deposits near Darwin, as part of plans to make inroads into the Chinese battery materials market.
Core said it wanted to develop its 100%-owned Grants deposit, which contains an estimated 1.8 million tonnes of high-grade spodumene— a key mineral in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries.