tesla megapack
Image credit: Iberdrola

Australian grid operator TransGrid is partnering with Tesla and Iberdrola subsidiary Infigen Energy, to develop a grid-connected lithium battery energy storage plant in western Sydney.

The Wallgrove Grid Battery will be designed and constructed by Tesla using their megapacks to demonstrate its innovative synthetic inertia product known as “Virtual Machine Mode”.

The battery will have a power of 50MW, capable of producing 75MW, and Infigen Energy will manage it for a period of 10 years, after its commissioning.

TransGrid will own, built and maintain the plant. Commercial operations are expected to commence in the second half of 2021.

Infigen Energy will have dispatch control of the Wallgrove Grid Battery and will receive all spot market revenues related to its operation, which will include revenues from energy auctions and from the eight Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) markets using Tesla’s Autobidder platform.

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Infigen will pay TransGrid a fee for the use of the Wallgrove Grid Battery and will be responsible for the costs related to the distribution and energy purchased. TransGrid will manage and pay for the maintenance of the battery on the Wallgrove network.

The $61.9 million project is co-funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) ($11.5 million) and the New South Wales Government which will provide $10 million in funding for the battery, as part of their $75 million Emerging Energy Programme.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said TransGrid’s Wallgrove Grid Battery aims to prove large scale battery storage is the most effective solution for managing system inertia as Australia transitions to renewable energy.

“Energy storage is one of the priority technologies under the Australian Government’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement released last month, and ARENA has already played a key role in supporting the commercialisation of battery storage.

“Large scale batteries have a big role to play in firming and balancing our electricity system as we move towards a future energy mix with higher penetration of renewable energy.”