Alinta Energy has launched Western Australia’s largest lithium ion battery at its Newman Power Station in the Pilbara region.

The 30MW (11.4MWh) battery is among the world’s largest and is the largest Australian battery to be developed for an industrial application.

The Alinta Energy Newman Battery Storage Project is designed to improve the performance of the islanded high voltage network in the region, supplying power to major iron ore producers.

Alinta Energy MD and CEO, Jeff Dimery, said the battery technology is among the world’s best and represents a smart solution to boost capacity and reliability.

“For the iron ore industry in the Pilbara, generating hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars’ worth of output an hour, a reliable energy supply is crucial. This battery will let us better handle peak demand periods, increase reliability for our customers and lower our emissions as a result,” Mr Dimery said.

“The project demonstrates our commitment to finding innovative ways to integrate our existing thermal generation portfolio into an evolving market that will incorporate more renewable generation and other disruptive technologies, with an emphasis on sustainability, reliability and affordability of supply.”   

The battery supports the 178MW open cycle gas turbine Newman Power Station by emulating a 30MW gas turbine and providing spinning reserve. It also delivers frequency control, voltage regulation and reduces peak demand on the gas turbine at the Newman Power Station.

The battery has a world first capability to enter a ‘grid forming’ mode in an islanded system (where the system is rated in excess of 40MW) and power a 220kV high voltage power system (consisting of 120km of overhead transmission lines, high voltage substations and an iron ore mine) with up to 30MW of load, without support from any other generation source. 

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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