Iberdrola to operate a giant storage system with network batteries in Australia

Infigen has reached an agreement with local distributor TransGrid to operate Wallgrove’s battery powered energy storage system in New South Wales, called the “Wallgrove Network Battery”. The battery will have a power of 50 MW, capable of producing 75 MW, and Infigen will manage it for a period of 10 years, after its commissioning.

Wallgrove will be owned, built and maintained by TransGrid and commercial operations are expected to commence in the second half of 2021.

Infigen will have dispatch control of the Wallgrove Grid Battery and will receive all spot market revenues related to its operation, which will include revenues from energy auctions and from the eight Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) markets using Tesla’s Autobidder platform.

Infigen will pay TransGrid a fee for the use of the Wallgrove Grid Battery and will be responsible for the costs related to the distribution and energy purchased. TransGrid will manage and pay for the maintenance of the battery on the Wallgrove network.

The initiative allows Infigen to increase its backup portfolio, as well as significantly increase its renewable energy capacity, by buying and selling clean energy to customers under supply contracts. The Wallgrove battery will bring strength to the network and stability in the energy supply system in this state.

TransGrid’s investment for Wallgrove Grid Battery is supported by funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program, and from the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment (‘DPIE’), as part of DPIE’s Emerging Energy Program.

Iberdrola has targeted Australia as a growth platform following the purchase of Infigen. The operation allows the company to enter an expanding market, through the acquisition of one of the country’s leading renewable energy companies and is aligned with its strategy of consolidating its position as the world’s largest renewable energy company by adding new projects to its portfolio.

Following the operation, Iberdrola has become one of the leaders in the Australian market, with the operation of more than 800 MW of solar, wind and storage batteries in the country, including own and contracted capacity, and a significant project portfolio: 453 MW under construction (including Port Augusta) and more than 1,000 MW in various development phases. Last year, Infigen increased its production of renewable energy sold by 10% to 1,959 GWh. Its sales of renewable energy have increased by 40% in the last three years. In addition, its annual revenues grew by 3% to $235.6 million.

Iberdrola has recently begun construction of the Port Augusta hybrid wind-solar project in South Australia, with a capacity of 317 MW (210 MW wind and 107 MW solar). With an investment of $500 million, it is expected to become operational in 2021. Approximately 200 jobs will be created during its construction and 20 will be for its operation and maintenance. The purchase of Infigen complements the project by permitting the sale of the energy produced in this complex to industrial clients in Australia.

Renewable energy in Australia continues to increase its market share and is expected to accelerate its growth over the next ten years. According to the 2019 Australian Energy Report, 21% of electricity production will come from renewable sources, with solar production growing by 46% and wind production by 19%.

By 2030, it is projected that emissions from the power sector will fall by 23% and the share of renewable energy in the generation mix are projected to reach 48%.