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Canadian Solar sells 100MW South Australia BESS project, gets contract to supply equipment

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Vertically integrated solar PV company Canadian Solar has sold a grid-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) project in South Australia to Epic Energy.

Canadian Solar’s PV and BESS project development subsidiary Recurrent Energy said yesterday (8 January) that it has sold the 100MW/200MWh Mannum energy storage project to Epic Energy, a South Australian energy infrastructure company with gas pipelines, renewables and storage in its portfolio.

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Epic Energy said in a separate release that the battery storage project is expected to require around AU$130 million (US$87 million) investment. While it will be a standalone facility, the BESS’ physical location in the town of Mannum is adjacent to two large-scale solar PV plants that Epic Energy owns and which Recurrent Energy also developed, adding up to 46MWp of generation capacity.

Sited around 90km from state capital Adelaide, Epic Energy’s CEO Clive D’Cruz said the BESS will absorb surplus energy from times of low demand, for injection into the grid to help manage demand at peak times. D’Cruz noted that the acquisition “rounds out our investment at the current Mannum site where we own two solar farms capturing 46MWp of the Riverland’s saturated sunlight to provide clean energy to industrial customers”.

South Australia has some of the highest per capita uptake figures for renewable energy of any region in the world, but at the same time much of its population and industry are in areas out at the grid edge  where the system is relatively weak.

This is driving an urgent need for energy storage to help balance that network and give it stability, while South Australia’s participation in the National Electricity Market (NEM) means that healthy merchant revenue streams from ancillary services and a growing case for energy arbitrage are providing a solid business case that continues to attract investment in batteries.

E-Storage, which is another Canadian Solar-owned entity – being the company’s BESS integration arm of its manufacturing subsidiary CSI Solar – has been selected by Recurrent Energy as supplier and system integrator of battery storage equipment to the Mannum project.

It will use SolBank, the proprietary energy storage solution based on lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells and which e-Storage launched a few months back. E-Storage will supply a system oversized to 220MWh DC, and it will begin construction on the project in Q2 2024.

The company claimed its SolBank solution offers high levels of safety due to its integration of a “top-tier” active balancing battery management system (BMS) with the product’s thermal management system. Prior to the launch of SolBank, E-Storage had integrated battery storage projects with third-party supplied equipment.

In November, E-Storage was announced as preferred supplier to a 240MW/480MWh BESS project in South Australia for institutional investor Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) in the Murraylands region of the state.

Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 1st Energy Storage Summit Australia, on 21-22 May 2024 in Sydney, NSW. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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