Energy Storage System Helps Aussie Utility Improve Rural Power Reliability

Name of Project:
Energy Storage System Helps Aussie Utility Improve Rural Power Reliability
Location:
Victoria, Australia
Application:
Energy Storage System
Owner:
S&C Electric Company
Developer/Operator:
S&C Electric Company

Powercor, one of Australia’s largest utilities, faced a situation where customers along a rural powerline were experiencing poor reliability. These customers, located in Buninyong, a suburb of Ballarat in Victoria, experienced three 90-minute outages on average per year, resulting in lost revenue for local business and inconvenience for residential customers.  Powercor decided to investigate energy storage as a possible solution to quickly increase reliability and network capacity instead of waiting for 2017 and 2019 to conduct capital upgrade works. The utility’s engineers believed an energy storage system could power the line from the battery during grid outages
and peak-shave during times of high demand to reduce stress on the network’s assets.
 

Approach


Because Powercor had limited energy storage experience, it consulted industry expert S&C Electric Company. The utility felt S&C’s successful background in developing complete, integrated energy storage systems for other utilities would be helpful in resolving its reliability issues and maximize the opportunity to learn about this new technology.
 
Wanting to learn more about the benefits of islanding and peak shaving, Powercor identified the Buninyong site as a suitable location. S&C then designed, supplied, and commissioned a fully integrated energy storage solution for Powercor. This included a 2-MW
S&C PureWave® Storage Management System, a 2-MW/2-MWh Kokam lithium-ion battery system.  S&C chose this battery because the lithium-ion battery technology would best address the utility’s needs. S&C also performed all of the associated system studies and protection-system design tasks.
 
By partnering with S&C early in the design and procurement processes, Powercor was able to draw upon S&C’s  energy storage experience  and work with S&C to address the problem. As a result, Powercor’s specialist team of grid design and construction experts, Powercor Network Services, prepared the site and performed the majority of the electrical installation work. S&C provided the detailed electrical design associated with the   PureWave
power-conversion system, the battery, the high-voltage islanding switchgear, and the necessary sensing and measurement equipment.
 
In order to reduce the risk of problems onsite, S&C performed detailed factory acceptance testing of the fully integrated energy storage system at its advanced energy storage test facility in Franklin, Wisconsin,   using  a  team  comprised  of  S&C’s  design  engineers and Powercor’s most experienced commissioning engineer. S&C also worked closely with Powercor  during the onsite commissioning and testing to ensure the installation did not disturb its network to any significant degree. This testing process helped S&C to complete the installation of the storage-management system, battery system, and the third party equipment in  just  2 weeks.

Results


Powercor commended S&C’s equipment quality and technical capability during both factory and site testing. At the time of commissioning, the system was Australia’s largest installed grid-connected battery energy storage system and one of the world’s few truly dynamically islanding systems of its type.
 
To ensure Powercor receives a strong return on investment, the utility plans to use the system   in a four-prong strategy: reliability improvement, infrastructure upgrade deferment, provision of ancillary services, and  renewables integration.