The Energy Storage Report 2024

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Dual BESS projects announced for Australia’s Northern Territory and New South Wales

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Two new BESS projects have been announced in Australia, with the DK BESS 2 in the Northern Territory and a 200MW BESS project in New South Wales.

With the installation, construction and pre-commissioning of the US$45 million Darwin-Katherine battery energy storage system (DK BESS) at Australia’s Channel Island now complete, the launch of the second BESS project, the Darwin-Katherine BESS 2, or DK BESS 2, was announced Monday (March 4).

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Project owner and utility Territory Generation hosted the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, the Hon Eva Lawler, and the Minister for Essential Services, the Hon Kate Worden, at Channel Island Power Station to formally announce the DK BESS 2 and discuss the progress of the original DK BESS project as it moves towards full commissioning.

The 34.7MW/34.7MWh DK BESS project moved into its construction phase in September 2022 and comprises 192 batteries, each weighing 3.5 tonnes. The BESS will feed into the Darwin-Katherine Interconnected System, servicing around 150,000 people in the Northern Territory.

DK BESS 2: ‘critical role’

This sister project, the DK BESS 2, will enable fuel savings and increased penetration of renewable energy via batteries in the region, again distributed across the Darwin-Katherine Interconnected system. Assessment of submissions is now underway before successful applicants submit their project proposals.

“Territory Generation’s battery energy storage system projects will play a critical role in advancing renewables in Darwin-Katherine and other power systems across the Northern Territory,” said Territory Generation CEO Gerhard Laubscher.

“Adding more battery energy storage systems to Territory Generation’s portfolio will not only enable more renewables and efficient generation dispatch throughout the energy transition, but also fosters the evolution of technological innovations and further supports grid resilience.”

The two projects combined will satisfy the 105MW high-specification battery requirements of the Darwin-Katherine Electricity System Plan, with the first DK BESS forecast to deliver savings of US$9.8 million per year alongside a 58,000-tonne saving in annual carbon emissions. Commissioning of the DK BESS 2 is targeted from 2026 onwards.

200MW BESS for New South Wales

The Northern Territory’s “Big Battery” projects were joined yesterday (March 5) by a 200MW battery storage initiative in New South Wales, announced via a partnership between Australian renewable energy investment specialists ACEN Australia Pty Ltd under the Ayala Group and Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corporation.

Marubeni subsidiary SmartestEnergy Australia Pty Ltd will assess the possibility of offtaking electricity from the project’s battery storage system.

The Philippines-based Ayala Group is already building 50MW BESS at a solar plant in New South Wales and commissioned the first solar-plus-storage BESS, a 40MW system, in its home market in 2022.

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