Alinta Energy’s new 30 MW / 11.4 MWh Energy Storage System: power reliability, efficiency and sustainability for industrial cust

Big battery for Pilbara miners

Big batteries continue to make headline news: in the latest development Korean based Kokam has successfully deployed a 30 MW / 11.4 MWh energy storage system for Alinta Energy. Kokam claims the Energy Storage System is the largest lithium ion battery deployed for industrial application in Australia. ABB Australia also played a major role, winning the contract to supply the ABB PowerStore™ “Virtual Generator” used to manage the microgrid.

Operational since April, the energy storage systems consists of five 2.2 MWh Kokam containerised ESS (KCE) units using Kokam Ultra High Power Lithium-ion NMC (UHP NMC) batteries.

The high power Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) Oxide battery technology is being used to improve the performance of the islanded high voltage network that supplies power to major iron ore producers in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. 

“For the iron ore industry in the Pilbara, generating hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars’ worth of output an hour, a reliable energy supply is crucial. This battery will let us better handle peak demand periods, increase reliability for our customers and lower our emissions as a result,” Alinta Energy chief executive Jeff Dimery explained.

“The project demonstrates our commitment to finding innovative ways to integrate our existing thermal generation portfolio into an evolving market that will incorporate more renewable generation and other disruptive technologies, with an emphasis on sustainability, reliability and affordability of supply.” 

In conjunction with Alinta Energy’s existing 178 MW open cycle gas turbine Newman Power Station, the ESS serves as a hybrid natural gas/battery energy generation and storage system. This hybrid system, along with a 220 kV high voltage power transmission system and high voltage substations, form an islanded microgrid that is used to power the nearby iron ore mines. 

In partnership with EPC contractor UGL, Kokam also served as the system integrator on the energy storage project.

“The Alinta Energy Newman Battery Storage Project provides an example of how new high power energy storage technologies enable both utility and industrial customers to build hybrid natural gas/battery systems that increase energy reliability, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and boost their bottom lines,” says Ike Hong who is vice president, Power Solutions Division.

Kokam’s UHP NMC battery technology is listed as:

High discharge rate: UHP NMC battery technology has a max discharge rate of 10C.

High energy density: The UHP NMC battery technology’s high energy density enables up to 3.77 MWh of energy storage to be installed in a 40 foot container, allowing more energy to be stored in a smaller space.

Long cycle life: UHP NMC batteries can last up to 10,000 cycles, and   

Improved heat dissipation.



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