Fotowatio Renewable Ventures builds its first solar-plus-storage project, in Australia

A Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) solar PV project in Spain. Image: FRV.

Global renewable energy development company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) is building its first project to include solar PV and a battery energy storage system (BESS) at the same site, in Queensland, Australia.

The company, which has put about 1,500MW of renewable energy projects into operation to date including eight projects in Australia and has over a gigawatt in development and construction, said yesterday that it is has begun construction of Dalby Hybrid Power Plant, which has 2.4MWac and 2.5MWac / 5MWh of battery storage co-located.

The project’s output will be traded in the National Electricity Market (NEM), through connection to Queensland regional electricity distribution company Ergon Energy’s network. Using the batteries, the solar plant’s output is made dispatchable and its generation profile predictable and the Dalby Hybrid Power Plant will be able to access multiple revenue streams including arbitrage markets and the NEM’s lucrative frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) market. The latter in particular has proven a valuable source of revenues for the handful of large lithium-ion battery projects already taking part, while also helping to keep the grid stable and integrated higher shares of renewable energy. 

FRV entered the energy storage space in 2019, with two grid-scale standalone battery storage projects in the UK totalling 41.5MW / 83MWh, that are scheduled for commissioning this year. The Dalby project is scheduled to enter full operation early next year.

As well as being FRV’s first ‘hybrid’ project combining solar and storage, it is also thought to be one of Australia’s first greenfield solar-plus-storage projects. FRV said it now owns around 640MWdc of clean energy projects in the country, with all of its solar farm project construction partners required to use local contractors and suppliers where possible.

“BESS are needed to support further investment in QLD renewables and help maintain system security and reliability. This project will be critical to Queensland’s future energy supply and security as renewable energy capacity increases, with storage supporting solar and wind-generated power to be supplied to the market when it is most needed,” FRV’s managing director for Australia Carlo Frigerio said.

“The inclusion of PV as part of the project shows the importance of integrating solar and batteries in order to deliver dispatchable power.”  

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