Renewable industries are known for outsized accomplishments, and the United States is home to many of them. Witness the massive battery storage project constructed by Tesla Owner Elon Musk in Nevada.
Now, the U.S. has a new competitor. An Australian infrastructure company recently announced what will be the world’s largest solar generation battery storage facility.
In March, renewable energy developer, the Lyon Group, announced a new project that it describes as one of the world’s most advanced combined solar and battery storage plants, which will be built in Roxby Downs in South Australia’s mining heartland.
The Kingfisher Project will feature a solar photovoltaic plant combined with a battery storage facility that uses sophisticated system management processes. The $1 billion project will feature 3.4 million solar panels and 1.1 million batteries. It will be connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM)—the wholesale electricity market in Australia.
The project features two stages of development. Stage 1 will deliver 20 megawatts (MW) of solar PV plus a minimum of 2 megawatt-hours (MWh) of lithium-based battery storage. Stage 2 will deliver 100 MW of solar PV with a minimum 20 MWh of battery storage.
Stage 1 is scheduled to begin commercial operations before September of this year. Stage 2 will begin operating commercially before the end of the year.
According to the developer, the combination of solar and storage means the facilities can provide high quality, reliable power to large energy users while also potentially avoiding the costs of grid upgrades.
The Kingfisher Project has the unique challenge of being connected to a grid that services major mining activity. According to the Lyon Group, it is already attracting significant attention from other resource companies in Australia and globally because of its potential to offer reliable and renewable energy to meet the unique and demanding requirements of their industry.