AusNet Battery Energy Storage Trial Under Way

Ausnet Battery Storage Trial

In what’s been described as an Australian first, Victoria’s AusNet Services is trialling a 1MW battery to support the mains grid during peak demand.

The Grid Energy Storage System (GESS) is housed in 4 x 6 metre shipping containers and is located in an industrial estate in the suburb of Thomastown.

“As an electricity distribution business, we’re committed to finding the right balance between safety, reliability and costs to our customers,” said AusNet Services Managing Director, Nino Ficca

“As such, we focus on innovative solutions to provide our customers with a reliable supply on the handful of peak demand days each year, which importantly delays or offsets network upgrades.”

Grid Energy Storage System

Originally announced in January last year when the company was known as SP AusNet; the trial officially began in December 2014 and is occurring in partnership with ABB Australia and Samsung SDI.

ABB is one of the world’s leading solar inverter suppliers and Samsung SDI is at the forefront of the energy storage revolution. In August last year, Samsung SDI announced it would also supply a 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) lithium battery system to a solar farm project in Japan.

The AusNet Services system also includes a 1MW diesel generator and can transition to island mode to provide power as part of a mini grid when parts of the network become isolated. ABB states its PowerStore flywheel-based grid stabilizing generator’s main purpose is to stabilize power systems against fluctuations in frequency and voltage.

AusNet says the GESS  aim to improve the quality of power delivery, providing active and reactive power support and other power quality functions when connected to the network.

Mr Ficca said the trial will establish if a battery storage system is a viable, non-network solution to meet peak demand.

AusNet Services is Victoria’s largest energy distributor, owning and operating approximately $11 billion of electricity and gas distribution assets. Among these assets are 49 terminal stations, 13,000 towers and 6,500 kilometres of high-voltage powerlines. Additionally, it owns 49,816 kilometres of powerlines and 380,000 power poles supplying electricity to 668,000 properties in Melbourne’s north east and across all of eastern Victoria.

AusNet states it provides services to more than 1.3 million Victorian homes and businesses.



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