Italian energy giant gets approval for “very first” solar and battery hybrid in Australia
Italian energy giant Enel Green Power says it has received connection approval for what it is describing as the “very first” solar and battery hybrid project in Australia.
The approval was granted for an unidentified 96MW solar farm and a 20MW battery in the central west of NSW, in the middle of the newly declared Central West Orana renewable energy zone.
There are several examples of co-located solar and battery storage projects in Australia, including the Gannawarra solar farm and battery projects in Victoria (pictured above), but Enel Green Power says this is the first to share the same connection point.
“We are very pleased to share we recently received the 5.3.4A Letter ✉️ from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) for our first hybrid project 👏👏👏,” the company announced in a post on LinkedIn.
“The 96 MW solar farm ☀️ and 20 MW battery component 🔋 will be the very first hybrid solar and battery project in Australia, as the point of connection to the electricity grid is shared under single Generator Performance Standards (GPS), rather than two separate connection points in close proximity.”
There were no further details – of the name or even the exact location, or the storage capacity of the 20MW battery. Enel Green Power says constructed is expected to commence construction in mid-2023. It would not comment further.
Enel Green Power has already completed three large scale solar farms in Australia, including the Bungala 1 and 2 projects in South Australia (110MW each), and the small 27MW Cohuna solar farm in Victoria. It recently bought the 75MW Flat Rocks wind project in Western Australia that will supply BHP Nickel.
It is also about to begin construction of the 93MW Girgarre solar farm in Victoria, and according to the AEMO development pipeline data, it also has proposals for battery storage at Bungala, and a solar and battery hybrid at Bouldercombe in Queensland.
To add an air of mystery about the project, the AEMO list of generation projects existing or in development does not mention any other Enel Green Power projects other than those listed above.
RenewEconomy sought comment from AEMO, and confirmation that this hybrid project is indeed the “first” to get a connection agreement to a single point, but did not hear back by the time of publication.