ACEN integrates BESS into Australian solar project – Manila Bulletin
ACEN integrates BESS in an Australian solar project
By MYRNA M. VELASCO
ACEN Corporation, led by Ayala, and its partner company UPC Renewables would integrate a 50 megawatt/one-hour battery energy storage system (BESS) into its peak 720 megawatt (MWp) solar farm project in New England. in Uralla, Australia.
In a statement to the media, energy company Ayala said battery storage “will be essential to address the intermittency of renewables,” adding that “the BESS will improve system resiliency and grid reliability, allowing more low-cost renewables to connect to the grid, driving down prices for consumers in New South Wales.
The BESS for the New England Solar Farm installation is supported by a 12.5 million Australian dollar grant from the New South Wales State Government, anchored in its Emerging Energy Program .
During its construction phase, the solar hybrid project is expected to generate at least 500 jobs and this could be supplemented by an additional 50 workers at the peak of construction of the battery storage facility.
Upon completion of the hybrid solar farm development, ACEN said “it will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1.5 million metric tons.”
As Adam Marshall, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Tablelands Parliamentary pointed out, “the construction of the BESS is a historic project for the New England Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) and also for the economy of New South Wales”.
He explained that the BESS coupling for the New England solar farm business “will be one of Australia’s largest co-located solar and battery storage facilities, helping to support a grid electrical more stable”.
Anton Rohner, Managing Director of ACEN Australia, further noted that “in addition to supporting grid reliability, the battery will also enable generation switching, so that energy can be stored and then discharged into the grid at the when it is most needed.
He pointed out that battery storage “can also be expanded up to 200 MW with two hours of storage capacity in response to consumer and grid needs.”
ACEN recently increased its stake in UPC/AC Renewables by acquiring the shares of its partner UPC Renewables – and the full acquisition (at 100% equity) is expected to close next year. Upon final execution of the full share acquisition, UPC/AC Renewables will be renamed ACEN Australia.
Given the upcoming changes in corporate equity, ACEN President and CEO Eric T. Francia said that “as the UPCAC Renewables name and brand change for ACEN Australia, our highly skilled Australian team will remain in place and our approach to building long-term, trust-based relationships with our host communities and other stakeholders remains the same.
The initial phase of construction of the New England Solar Farm will include the 400MWac/520MWdc component which is expected to be completed in 2023; and additional capacity to complete the planned 720 MWp development will follow thereafter.
“When the entire 720MW project is completed, it will produce around 1,800,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of clean electricity each year, enough to power around 250,000 homes in New South Wales,” the company said. Ayala.
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