This project aims to demonstrate the potential of large-scale battery storage (LSBS) with grid-forming inverters to improve system strength in weak grid areas, while also providing market services.
Declining system strength in the National Electricity Market is impacting further investment in renewable energy. In particular, the time and cost challenges of connecting to increasingly weaker grids is making renewable energy projects more difficult to finance. Grid-forming inverters are a promising solution to improve system strength, which are yet to be demonstrated at utility scale in weak grid areas.
AGL will build, test and operate a 50 MW / 50 MWh LSBS facility with grid-forming inverters at Broken Hill. As part of the project, AGL will develop and implement a testing plan, which will verify the technical merit of using LSBS with grid-forming inverters to provide system strength. The facility will operate with the grid-forming inverter functionality enabled at all times.
The project will deliver the following outcomes:
- accelerate commercialisation of LSBS with grid-forming inverters in weak-grid areas
- provide an alternative to expensive grid-supporting equipment (e.g. synchronous condensers)
- de-risk investment in renewable energy through improved system strength outcomes
- inform key stakeholders, including Transmission Network Service Providers and AEMO to enable grid-forming inverters to be considered as a credible source of system strength
- recommend whether there is a need to standardise performance specifications for grid-forming inverters and how their contribution to system strength can be measured.
The project will also provide additional energy security to the town of Broken Hill.