ARE Member Autarsys ESS proves viability of 5 different battery functions

Berlin, Germany and Lakeland, Australia, 19 February 2018 – The development of energy storage systems (ESS) has become an increasingly crowded and competitive field, making the advancement of intelligent energy management systems (iEMS) and the software within them critical to moving the needle forward. German company and ARE Member Autarsys completed a site acceptance test for its landmark project in northern Australia showcasing – for the first time in the industry – the operability of all five market-ready settings.

Based in a fringe of grid location, the project is a testing ground for lessons that can be universally applied in diverse markets. Connected to a 10.8 MW solar plant, the Autarsys ESS generates up to 1.4MW of power with a 5.3 MWh lithium-ion battery. The battery storage system simultaneously demonstrates five functionalities:

  1. PV support mode: To improve a solar system’s reliability, battery systems can close gaps between the generation and demand of power. Here the system uses features like PV smoothing and ramping or peak shaving to stabilize the renewable system.
  2. Grid support mode: When connected to the grid, the ESS serves as an intermediary between the grid and PV systems. In this mode, the battery inverters secure a more stable grid by managing the input and output of active and reactive power, and ultimately reduce the likelihood of brownouts.
  3. Island mode: In the event of power disruptions within the national grid, the local system can operate independently powering the local community of 3,000 households.
  4. Market mode: When connected to the national grid, renewable systems can be profitable ventures. This mode shows how the system can participate in energy arbitrage trading.
  5. Combined mode: Perhaps the most relevant to real-world applications, this is where the project tests different modal combinations to optimize the RE system’s economic viability.  

“This is the first time that five functionalities of a grid-connected renewable energy system have been tested – the implications are far reaching for the future of energy storage systems,” said Erich Bosch, co-founder and CTO of Autarsys.

“What we’ve seen in Lakeland is that a grid-connected renewable energy system can provide reliable power to the national energy supply with lessons that can be scaled up and applied elsewhere in global markets,” said Matthias Ross, co-founder and CEO of Autarsys.

“It’s great news for the people of Queensland, and it’s a milestone for Conergy and Autarsys as we bring this facility on line – the first solar and storage project of its scale connected to the grid in Australia,” said Christopher West, Managing Director of Conergy Australia.

Project Background:

Before completion of the Lakeland Solar & Storage Project, the nearest large-scale generation asset was located 1,200 km away in Queensland, Australia. The long-distance power lines were unreliable with network constraints on local industries with loads that often led to brownouts.

Now that the project is complete, the focus will move on to the Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP) between government and business, including: Conergy (the project owner and developer), ARENA, Ergon Energy, Origin Energy, and BHP. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) provided a $17.4 million grant towards the project.

 

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