Victoria energy business SP AusNet has contracted ABB and Samsung to supply a hybrid grid energy storage and diesel generation system (GESS) that may offer a new approach to supplementing demand and deferring costly network upgrades.

The system with a capacity of 1MW-1MWh battery energy storage as well as 1MW diesel generator power will be a pilot plant for potential future similar grid integrated generation and storage systems.

The GESS provides peak demand management, active and reactive power support and other power quality functions when the network is connected. It can also provide power as part of a microgrid when parts of the network become isolated.

The battery system and smart inverter are the primary energy source, while the diesel generator acts as back-up to extend the capacity available. The system must comply with the distribution grid codes when grid connected, must transition into island mode when the network controller gives the command, and must switch back to grid connected operation without any power supply interruption.

The project scope of supply includes the design, engineering, construction, testing and supply of the ABB PowerStore battery system and a 3 MVA transformer to be integrated with the diesel generator. The plant is managed by ABB’s new Microgrid Plus system and for ease of mobility, is to be implemented comprising seven outdoor containers and kiosks.


ABB’s solution to the technical challenges of GESS lies in the Microgrid Plus system, a control system developed by the Microgrid Solutions team in Darwin, Australia, and in a modified version of the PCS100 grid-forming inverter.

“ABB had the opportunity to demonstrate to SP AusNet the value of leading edge technology that is available at its doorstep,” said David Baker, ABB’s division manager for Power System in Australia.

The project is due to be completed this year, with ABB having an ongoing 2-year service and maintenance following the final commissioning.