Last week the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced the construction of a large scale solar PV plant in Lakeland in northern Queensland. What distinguishes this project from other large-scale solar projects is that it also incorporates large scale battery storage. Located on the edge of the grid, the system is designed to supplement the power supplied from the grid
The plant will generate 10.8 MW(AC) and have 1.4MW/5.3MWh of lithium-ion battery storage, enough to power 3000 homes. The project will provide an opportunity to test how renewable energy can be used to enhance the reliability of the energy supply in regions on the fringe of the grid, where outages occur more frequently due to network constraints and lack of infrastructure and there is loss of power through transmission over long distance power lines.
The project includes testing a number of different ways that the battery system can be integrated with the grid and also measuring battery performance over the first two years of operation. The project is due for completion in April 2017.