Big batteries are getting bigger and smarter, and doing things fossil fuels can’t do | RenewEconomy

Right now it is South Australia, with the newly expanded Hornsdale Power Reserve (150MW/194MWh), but the mantle late next year will go to Victoria, where Hornsdale owner Neoen has committed to building a 300MW/450MWh big battery at Geelong, before the crown possibly returns to South Australia with AGL’s proposed “gigawatt hour” battery next to the Torrens Island gas generator.

What we can be sure of is that big batteries will get even bigger. AGL has talked of a 500MW battery at Liddell with as yet unspecified hours of storage, Neoen is talking of a 900MW/1800MWh big battery at the massive Goyder South wind and solar hybrid plant in South Australia, while Sun Cable may trump them all with a 20 gigawatt hour battery in the Northern Territory if its bold plan to supply Singapore with the world’s biggest solar farm becomes a reality.

Batteries have become specialists at providing critical grid services such as frequency control, and are now moving into the large scale provision of “synthetic inertia”. Soon they will be “grid forming”, rather than “grid following”, and offering “system strength”, but these are just a fraction of the so-called “value stack” that is on offer. All of these eat into the domain traditionally dominated by the fossil fuel generators.

Big batteries are getting bigger and smarter, and doing things fossil fuels can’t do | RenewEconomy