Sapphire battery to connect to NSW’s largest wind farm

Rendered image of the Sapphire battery
Rendered image of the Sapphire battery

Sapphire Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) has received approval of its performance standards to connect to the largest operational wind farm in NSW, making it the first BESS project to be added to an existing generation plant at the same connection point in the National Electricity Market, under the 5.3.9 procedures. 

The 30MW/1 hour+ duration battery, which has received its 5.3.10 letter from AEMO and Transgrid as approval to connect once constructed and commissioned, will be co-located at Sapphire Wind Farm in the New England region. It will store excess energy from the wind farm and the grid, with the ability to feed electricity back into the grid during times of low generation or high demand. The battery’s fast response means it will also be able to provide frequency control services, which stabilise the grid and improve power quality. 

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CWP Renewables CEO Jason Willoughby said the approval would give the industry confidence that battery storage could be added to existing generation projects. 

“We’re proud to be leading the way in obtaining the approval under the current regulatory framework to connect Sapphire Battery to our 270MW Sapphire Wind Farm,” Willoughby said. 

“In what is already a technically challenging process, receiving connection approval for a hybrid plant that is co-located with a wind farm has only been possible through a collaborative process with our wind farm operations contractor Vestas, AEMO, Transgrid and Lumea.” 

He also said the project was a critical component of offering firmed renewable electricity. 

“The transition to renewable energy requires the likes of firming projects such as Sapphire Battery, which can help smooth out the variability of wind and solar generation,” he said. 

“We have agreements with a large range of corporate customers who want to source firmed renewable energy to match their usage and this project brings us another step closer.” 

Lumea CEO Richard Lowe said, “We are seeing a significant step change of capacity coming from renewable infrastructure. Energy storage is an important part of laying the foundations to deliver grid stability and connectivity as we transition.” 

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“The Sapphire BESS project exemplifies the collaboration required to move forward at pace and we are pleased to partner with CWP Renewables to deliver this project to the New England region of NSW.” 

Sapphire Battery is part of the NSW Government’s Emerging Energy Program which aims to help with the development of innovative, large-scale electricity and storage projects in NSW. 

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