Saft to build New Zealand’s first large-scale grid-connected BESS

Advanced battery storage solutions provider and a wholly-owned subsidiary of TotalEnergies, Saft, received a contract from Meridian Energy to construct New Zealand’s first large-scale grid-connected battery energy storage system (BESS) at Ruakākā on North Island. The 100-MW BESS will help manage power supply fluctuations, enhance grid stability and reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Under the contract, Saft will provide a fully integrated solution for the BESS, including supply of battery and power conversion equipment, installation, commissioning and 20-year operation services. 

Specifically, Saft will supply 80 LFP technology-based Intensium Shift battery containers for the system, which will be installed with 40 Freemaq PCSK inverters, 20 medium-voltage power stations and a power management system (PMS) supplied by third-party suppliers.

Saft Intensium Shift battery container
Image: Saft

Saft’s highly scalable Intensium Shift battery containers use a modular design and benefit from Saft’s safety concept with a unique combination of proven and tested safety devices, such as fire suppression systems or blast panels. They can be installed in lineups with power conversion equipment with a 50% smaller system footprint while reducing 50% of site-related activities, allowing faster deployment of utility-scale storage plants. The containers are also connected to Saft’s cloud-based data platform I-Sight, ensuring real-time remote monitoring for further asset optimization to realize minimum operating expenses and downtime.

Expected to be operational in the second half of 2024, the Ruakākā BESS will have a storage capacity of 200 MWh to support the local grid demand for around two hours and contribute to improving the economics of a co-located 130-MW solar farm to be constructed by Meridian Energy. 

When combined with the farm, the entire asset will be able to load shift between price periods and participate in the North Island reserve electricity market. It is estimated that the BESS can deliver annual revenues of up to $35 million.

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