$1bn Australian solar plant to use world’s largest battery

A solar plant worth an estimated $1bn and the world’s largest battery are to be built in south Australia.

The Kingfisher project, which will be located in the Riverland region, will have 3.4 million solar panels and 1.1 million batteries.

The project, which will be run by the Lyon Group, will be connected to the wholesale electricity market in Australia, and will feature two stages of development:

  • Stage 1 will deliver 20MW of solar PV plus a minimum of 2MWh of lithium-based battery storage. This stage will enable analysis and performance assessment of the plant in harsh desert conditions. Commercial operations are scheduled to get under way before September 2017 
  • Stage 2 will deliver 100MW of solar PV with a minimum 20MWh of battery storage and is expected to operate commercially before the end of 2017. Given current volatility in the South Australian energy market, the battery storage may be upgraded to an initial 40MWh.

Funding of $150m will go towards an Australian renewable technology fund to finance research into the battery.

The combination of solar and storage means the facilities can provide high-quality, reliable power to large energy users while also potentially avoiding the costs of grid upgrades.

Image courtesy of the Lyon Group

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