22 January 2014 — A contract to supply a hybrid grid energy storage system to SP AusNet for its electricity distribution network in Victoria has been won by ABB. The system has the potential to manage peak demands like those recently seen in southern Australia.

The grid energy storage and diesel generation system features a one megawatt-1MWh battery energy storage as well as 1MW diesel generator power, and will function as a pilot plant for potential future grid-integrated generation and storage systems.

If successful, SP AusNet may embed GESS systems for additional supply capacity during high demand periods to offset or delay grid upgrades.

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 mini grid 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 project is due to be completed in 2014 and ABB will continue to support SP AusNet with an ongoing service and maintenance contract for a further two years after final commissioning of the embedded generation system.