Hitachi wins Darwin-Katherine BESS tender

Rendered image of Battery Energy storage system (Hitachi BESS)

Hitachi Energy has won the tender for the 35MVA Darwin-Katherine Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)—a ‘big battery’ for the Darwin-Katherine grid, which will deliver cost savings of around $9.8 million per year.

Hitachi Energy will deliver the major components of the $45 million DK BESS to be built and located at Territory Generation’s Channel Island Power Station.

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The $45 million Darwin-Katherine BESS is the first step towards reducing the use of gas generators for the Darwin-Katherine system. It will unlock further capacity for households to connect their rooftop PV or for industry to invest into lower cost solar systems for the commercial and industrial operations. The BESS will use Hitachi Energy’s virtual synchronous machine technology to replace the existing thermal generation. 

The revised battery specifications offer increased storage capacity capable of delivering energy and services for longer than the original design. The battery will be online continuously, replacing one gas-fired generating unit.

Major benefits of the Darwin-Katherine BESS include:

  • Significantly reduced carbon emissions for the Territory. Reducing the need for gas-fired spinning reserve can deliver both cost savings of around $9.8 million and emissions reductions of about 58,000 tonnes per annum.
  • Replaces a Frame 6 generating unit in providing contingency generation for power system events.
  • Inertia from the battery will increase stability and reliability of the power supply. Fluctuations caused by the intermittency of solar energy can be managed quickly and efficiently.

Ongoing jobs and further training opportunities will be provided with the establishment of the DK BESS, supporting 25 local jobs during the build. Construction will commence in 2022 with the DK BESS expected to be operational in 2023. 

Hitachi Energy Australia managing director Bernard Norton said, “Together with the Northern Territory Government and Territory Generation, we are enabling the Territory to meet ambitious renewable energy targets, by harnessing abundant solar resources, and move towards a carbon-neutral energy future.

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“Hitachi Energy’s battery energy storage solution will be part of an intelligent electrical ecosystem and ensure full utilisation of solar energy generation and less reliance on fossil fuels.

“This battery energy storage system will allow greater penetration of renewable energy in the Territory, helping to ensure a sustainable, flexible and secure energy system for today’s generations and those to come.”