ACEN Corp. has started construction of its 50 megawatt one hour battery that will be connected to its New England Solar Farm in Uralla, New South Wales.
The construction of the battery energy storage system (BESS) will be critical in addressing the intermittency of renewable energy. It is supported by a AU$ 12.5 million state government grant, and will be built alongside the 720 MW New England Solar Farm currently in construction east of Uralla.
Combined with the solar farm, the battery storage system will be one of Australia’s largest co- located solar and battery energy storage facilities, helping to support a more stable electricity network.
The BESS will improve system strength and grid reliability, allowing more low-cost renewable energy to connect to the grid, lowering prices for New South Wales consumers.
Eric Francia, president and CEO of ACEN, said the company is pleased to be expand its renewable energy portfolio and contribute to Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.
Last March, the Ayala group’s listed energy platform, ACEN raised its its stake in UPC\AC Renewables to 80 percent in March with the goal to increase ownership to 100 percent by early 2023.
With this acquisition, UPC\AC Renewables has rebranded to ACEN Australia.
Anton Rohner, CEO of ACEN Australia, said that aside from supporting grid reliability, the battery would avlso allow for generation-shifting, so that energy can be stored and then discharged into grid when it is most needed.
The project can also be scaled up to 200 MW with two hours of storage capacity. Once finished, it is expected to produce around 1.8 million megawatt hours of clean electricity year, enough to power about 250,000 New South Wales homes.
ACEN Australia targets to complete the construction of the first 400MW/ 520MW New England Solar project in 2023.
ACEN has about 3,800 MW of attributable capacity in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Australia.
The energy platform of the Ayala Group saw its second quarter net income grow by a quarter to P1.78 billion, largely driven by recovery in domestic markets and fresh contributions from new solar and wind farms.