Hybrid off-grid power and storage for Australian Aboriginal community

In a move designed to reduce reliance on diesel gensets, an off-grid hybrid power project in an Australian Aboriginal community is to add a battery energy storage system.

The project combines existing diesel gensets with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, and will soon incorporate an 800 kW/1987 kWh lithium-ion battery from German energy storage firm Qinous.

Factory testing of the battery system is planned for June, and the project is scheduled to come online in October.

The system was commissioned by local utility Power and Water as part of a plan to bring hybrid on-site solar power systems to around 30 indigenous communities in Australia’s Northern Territory. The project is jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Northern Territory government.

Steffen Heinrich, Technical Director at Qinous, said: ‘The operation of diesel generators is not only expensive for Power and Water, but is also a burden for the environment because of air pollution and spill risks. Our energy storage solutions and the integration of renewable energies enable the cost-effective transition of conventional power generation systems into hybrid systems. By temporarily storing excess energy as well as managing and stabilizing the grid, our system allows the diesel generators to be switched off completely during the day.’ 

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