Northern Territory seeks Vector solution for battery storage

Media Releases
Vector has won a multi-million-dollar Australian contract to supply the Territory Generation Alice Springs Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project.

Vector was one of a number of Australian and international firms bidding for the contract which will see it supply Australasia’s largest grid-tied lithium ion battery storage solution to stabilise and enhance generation on the Alice Springs electricity network.

The 5MW battery system will improve reliability on the network while helping smoothly switch energy use between renewable sources and the grid as needed. Vector will be responsible for the design, engineering, construction, and installation of the system and once commissioned, will also be responsible for ongoing maintenance.

Vector Chief Executive, Simon Mackenzie, said this contract further endorses Vector’s strategy and commitment to delivering customers world class sustainable energy solutions.

“It’s not just the technology Vector’s using that is innovative, it is the way we’re tailoring the solutions to meet quite specific and widely varied customer needs that is the game changer. It’s our mindset that is proving as innovative as the technology we’re using to meet the unique challenges and aspirations of the Alice Springs network.”

“When we complete this contract, Vector will have delivered the two largest grid-tied battery storage projects in Australasia. It’s a great endorsement of our expertise.”

The battery system is expected to be installed and commissioned by the end of the year. Territory Generation’s media release will be available here

Alice Springs Battery Energy Storage System

Territory Generation has been investigating energy storage technology solutions for some time, as part of its major projects to replace ageing machinery in Alice Springs in an effort to assist with generation stabilisation.

A relatively large amount of thermal spinning reserve is required to counter solar intermittency and provide backup for other contingency events. This is inefficient, expensive and consumes fossil fuels.

Alice Springs has a highly variable load profile and a high penetration of solar PV on the network. Solar generation is at its peak mid-afternoon, which does not necessarily coincide with evening peak demand.

The intermittent nature of solar generation due to cloud cover causes rapid ramping up and down of thermal plant, and these sharp changes on the network can cause frequency instability, which can lead to load shedding.

Greater solar PV penetration without technological enablers (eg storage) will exacerbate these issues.

An expression of interest (EOI) process was undertaken in October 2017. Tenderers were shortlisted and selections occurred in March 2017. 

Storage solution 
  • 5MW total storage capacity for 40 minutes 

  • Includes capacity to ‘absorb’ overloads into the system up to 7.5MW for 60 seconds 

  • Can assist to prevent major or widespread outages 

The BESS system will be located at the Sadadeen Valley, connected to the Sadadeen Substation.