Yadlamalka Energy Trust has developed an innovative solar power integrated energy storage project using vanadium flow battery (VFB). It is expected to be one of the largest solar-powered VFB projects and will come online in 2021 at Yadlamalka, South Australia. The VFB being supplied by Invinity Energy Systems will charge from a solar PV array and provide power to the local grid on demand. 

The project worth AUD 20 million would comprise a 6 MWp solar power plant with an 8 MWh VFB to produce approximately 10 GWh of ‘dispatchable’ solar power each year. The VFB will be used to deliver power when it is most needed, such as during the peak evening hours, when solar generation is no longer available. Thus, VFB will serve the purpose of ‘time shifting’. Moreover, it will provide Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), to help balance out spikes in demand and generation.

This VFB will be dispatched by Habitat Energy (Habitat), an optimisation and trading platform for renewable and grid-scale battery storage assets. Habitat works with UK and European assets, but this is their first major asset optimisation project in Australia. The entire project has been supported by ARENA, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, with a significant grant of $5.7m AUD.

Australia is leading energy transition globally, moving swiftly from conventional energy sources to renewable energy sources. With steady investments in the sector, the country exceeded the government’s Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target of 33,000 GWh in 2019, a year ahead of the schedule. To sustain the long-term benefits of renewable energy and ensure it forms a major part of the despatchable resources, Australia’s energy policy has called for increased adoption of energy storage systems.