Australia’s first unsubsidised grid-scale battery helped by CEFC debt-financing
The site at Lincoln Gap, near Port Augusta, South Australia. Image: Nexif Energy Australia.
Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will help finance the country’s first “unsubsidised large-scale grid-connected battery”, co-located with a wind farm in South Australia.
Lincoln Gap wind farm is currently being developed in Port Augusta, South Australia. When finished it will be a 212MW generation facility of 59 wind turbines, with construction set to begin by the end of this month, according to a representative of developer Nexif Energy Australia.
The project is designed to host a 10MW / 10MWh battery energy storage system (BESS). CEFC will provide AU$150 million in debt financing, which is going towards the first phase of construction – including a portion of the storage system’s costs. Stage one of construction is worth about AU$300 million and comprises 126MW of the wind farm’s generation capacity. While details have not been given, the battery is expected to assist the integration of renewable energy and perform some grid-balancing services.
“This is the first development project in Australia which has been able to secure debt finance for a grid-connected large-scale battery component on a non-subsidised basis. It provides an important financing model for other developers and investors wanting to be at the forefront of closer integration of renewables into the grid,” Andrew Gardner, leader of the wind sector at CEFC, said.
“This project demonstrates how we can move to the next phase of the clean energy transition, delivering a cleaner, reliable and affordable energy supply, by incorporating the latest technology at the greenfield development stage to create a stronger, more integrated grid.”
‘Battery storage an essential part of the wind farm investment’
The wind farm project has already secured a pair of Large Scale Generation Certificate (LGC) agreements with ERM Power, a utility servicing commercial and industrial (C&I) customers only, feeding into transmission system operator Electranet’s grid via a 275kV line. There is also an off-taker agreement in place with local power generator and retailer Snowy Hydro.