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Sydney gets its own big Tesla battery

LM Clover Moore and TransGrid CEO Paul Italiano
Alexandra Canal Depot.

Following in South Australia’s footsteps, Sydney has been provided its own industrial-scale Tesla battery.

Though much smaller than South Australia’s 129 megawatt-hour capacity system, the 500kWh battery at the Alexandra Canal depot is part of a larger City of Sydney program to install 1.5 megawatt-hours of energy storage across council assets in a bid to meet a 50 per cent renewable energy target in the local government area by 2030.

The project is also supported by 1600 solar panels, which together with the battery will power the depot.

Partner TransGrid is trialling demand management through the project, with the ability to take control of the battery during peak demand in a bid to reduce the need for investment in the transmission network. 

“This initiative with City of Sydney will afford the depot a significant amount of energy self-sufficiency while also sharing benefits with the wider community through the electricity network,” TransGrid chief executive Paul Italiano said.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the program could help to improve resilience of the network while incorporating more renewables into the grid.

“As the mix of storage and generation on our electricity grid changes, solar solutions like this could provide reliability and resilience to our electricity network and potentially prevent blackouts,” she said.

Ms Moore expects the depot to be certified carbon neutral as the solar panels are expected to often produce more energy than consumed.

“This agreement with TransGrid means that facilities like our depot can be powered by solar energy, even when the sun is blocked by clouds and in the early evening, when the sun is setting but demand on the grid is still strong,” she said. 

“Apart from the 600 tonnes of carbon emissions we will save every year, this trial will allow TransGrid to better understand the impact on the grid as more energy storage solutions like our new depot are installed across the Sydney metropolitan area.”

The council predicts it will have 7800 solar panels on council assets by 2021.

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