A milestone has been reached for the Territory’s $45 million big battery – known as the Darwin-Katherine Battery Energy Storage System (DK BESS) – with the successful installation of all batteries and progression to the first stages of pre-commissioning.
Once commissioned, the 35MVA battery is intended to replace some gas-fired generation at the Channel Island Power Station and strengthen the Darwin-Katherine system to support increased solar. It will reduce Territory carbon emissions by about 58,000 tonnes a year.
A major part of the Darwin-Katherine Electricity System Plan, the DK BESS is forecast to deliver cost savings of around $9.8 million per year, paying for itself in about five years from connection to the grid.
Currently, all 192 batteries, each weighing 3.5 tonnes, have been installed at the DK BESS site adjacent to Channel Island. A temporary power supply has been established for pre-commissioning testing on the eight DK BESS Hitachi Energy modules, each comprising a bank of batteries, a set of inverters and a step-up transformer. Using the temporary power supply in combination with an AC/DC power converter, the battery modules will be charged and discharged to test all their functions before being connected to the 11kV switch room.
Network connected commissioning of the big battery is scheduled to commence in late 2023 and it is expected to be fully commissioned and online in the 2023-24 financial year.