Transgrid is set to hit the market, seeking contracts with battery operators to maintain electricity reliability in parts of New South Wales.
Grid-scale batteries have been identified as part of the preferred options for maintaining a reliable supply to the Bathurst, Orange and Parkes areas and the NSW North West Slopes region. By entering the market, Transgrid hopes to gain interest with battery operators and form contracts, helping the company maintain electricity in two major growth areas of New South Wales.
Transgrid Executive General Manager of Network, Marie Jordan, said that the company followed a thorough assessment of its options.
“Our grid is changing, which is why we’re going beyond the traditional poles and wires approach and embracing new technologies and business models to meet the needs of consumers and keep the system reliable,” Ms Jordan said.
Transgrid is entering a competitive procurement process to buy services from the new battery projects before it finalises contracts with successful proponent(s) in both regions. The company is aiming to purchase services from providers with experience in operating and owning a battery.
“We’re looking to purchase services from providers who own and operate battery storage. This approach helps meet growing demand in both regions faster than upgrading the existing network,” Ms Jordan said.
“These services will help us unlock extra capacity on the transmission network and use the existing network better and avoid interruptions to supply for consumers. The service providers can also use the batteries to trade in the energy market when not needed to support Transgrid’s network, so it’s a win-win for the power system.”
The company expects that the demand for electricity in Orange, Bathurst and Parkes regions will all substantially increase due to planned connection of new industrial loads, as well as general load growth around the Parkes region.
Transgrid is seeking services from two separate Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) to be installed at substations at (or near) Panorama and Parkes, which will provide dynamic reactive support to manage voltage variations on Transgrid’s network during high demand periods.
In the North West Slopes Region, the demand is also expected to increase, however Transgrid is seeking services from a BESS to be installed in the Narrabri or Gunnedah region (potentially paired with other supporting technologies), which will provide both active power and reactive support to manage thermal and voltage constraints on Transgrid’s network during peak demand periods, from 2025 or soon thereafter. This will enable Transgrid to maintain secure and reliable supplies to customers in the region, even in the event of a fault or outage.