Solar PV panels in the Northern Territory

Civil and building works are now complete on the $45 million Darwin-Katherine Battery Energy Storage System (DK BESS), with Hitachi Energy being mobilised to site at Territory Generation’s Channel Island Power Station to carry out the next phase of construction.

Hitachi Energy is delivering the build of the battery, with local companies City Earthmoving and T&M Concreters having carried out the civil and foundation works for the project.

Territory Generation CEO, Gerhard Laubscher, said Territory Generation’s Darwin-Katherine battery energy storage system has progressed to the next phase of work.

“Hitachi Energy has mobilised to site at Channel Island Power Station to carry out specialist battery equipment and cabling installation.

“The Darwin-Katherine battery not only delivers on a portion of the Northern Territory Government’s Darwin-Katherine Electricity System Plan, but is also key to unlocking flexibility in our generation fleet to better manage the increasing impacts of solar on the system.”

The 35MVA battery is expected to deliver cost savings of around $9.8 million per year, paying for itself within approximately five years from connection to the grid. It will also reduce emissions by about 58,000t per annum.

The Darwin and Katherine Electricity System provides energy to 150,000 Territorians, and the DK BESS is the first significant step towards reducing the use of gas generators for the system.

Northern Territory Chief Minister, Natasha Fyles, said, “150,000 Territorians will soon have a more flexible and reliable power system. We know, and Territorians know, that renewables deliver cleaner, cheaper and secure power.

“The Battery Energy Storage System will reinforce the Northern Territory as the solar capital of Australia. It will store power and be the backbone of the Darwin to Katherine Electricity grid.

Works have started on the new 132/11.5kV power transformer, with a new dedicated switch room under construction and the first tranche of inverter enclosures installed on site.

Delivering a BESS for the Darwin-Katherine electricity grid is a major part of the Darwin-Katherine Electricity System Plan, and fits into the Northern Territory Government’s ‘Ready’ stage of the plan. It is also a cornerstone investment of Territory Generation’s Fleet Transition.

Northern Territory Minister for Renewables and Energy, Selena Uibo, said, “Construction of the Darwin-Katherine BESS is a huge step forward in our plan for 50 per cent renewables by 2030.

“Our electricity will be more reliable and stable, whilst maintaining affordability for Territorians, which is what they expect and deserve.

“Our future is renewables.  This is why we are investing now in the BESS and hydrogen powered generators so we can have clean and efficient energy to help reach our renewables and net zero emission targets.”

Hitachi Energy Country Managing Director, Bernard Norton, said, “Hitachi Energy is deploying our proven Virtual Synchronous Machine technology as the key technology for the DK BESS project. 

“This is a bold step towards operating the entire Darwin Katherine network without gas-powered generators,” Mr Norton said. 

“It also means a more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy supply for Territory households and businesses.

“In delivering this project, Hitachi Energy’s Darwin based project team, with the support of local contractor ESPEC, is advancing a sustainable energy future for the Northern Territory.”

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