Goldwind Australia awarded $10m grant funding for hybrid dispatchable renewable energy project under the NSW Government’s Emerging Energy Program
18 August 2020
Goldwind Australia Pty Ltd has been awarded a $10 million grant for a hybrid dispatchable renewable energy project under the NSW Government’s Emerging Energy Program. The Emerging Energy Program supports the development of innovative large-scale electricity generation and storage projects which enhance electricity system reliability and security in NSW. The program will help the NSW Government achieve its target of net zero emissions by 2050.
Subject to approvals, Goldwind plans to integrate six 12MW gas reciprocating engines combined with a 12 MW / 4 MWh battery into an existing renewable energy farm. A new pipeline is proposed to transport the gas. The gas engine and battery storage project is planned to have a total capacity of 84MW.
John Titchen, Goldwind Australia’s Managing Director said the proposed project would become the first integrated gas, battery, and renewable precinct in Australia.
“Goldwind Australia is very pleased to be awarded funding for the proposed hybrid dispatchable renewable energy project under the NSW Government’s Emerging Energy program. The project is in response to the
growing demand for low emission dispatchable generation sources.”
Minister for Energy Matt Kean said firmed renewables are the most economic form of reliable generation and will drive the biggest change in our electricity system’s history.
“We want NSW households and businesses to have some of the cheapest and cleanest electricity in the world and we’re firming low-cost, large-scale renewables with new technologies such as gas-battery hybrids to do that.”
Hybrid battery and gas plants can operate with greater flexibility and faster start-up speeds than conventional gas generation, as the integrated batteries eliminate the gap in energy supply during engine startup.
Dispatchable generation refers to sources of electricity that can quickly respond to changes in demand and dispatched at the request of market operators according to market needs. Australia’s energy market is in transition, with a focus on emissions reduction through the replacement of existing baseload with a combination of renewable and dispatchable generation. Batteries, pumped hydro, and gas generators are examples of dispatchable technologies which will be required to enable the ongoing uptake of renewables through firming during times of low wind and solar radiation.
Goldwind recognises that dispatchable projects can lead to greater penetration of renewables and the transition to net zero emissions, whilst enhancing energy security. The project may benefit from favourable gas prices which are currently at a four-year low with AEMO predicting them to reduce further. Goldwind is also exploring opportunities to develop battery and pumped hydro projects in the National Electricity Market.
Goldwind has also explored the use of dual fuel reciprocating engines, capable of operating on alternative fuel sources, including biofuels, and will seek to include this capability in the project. Goldwind is also exploring the possibility of including hydrogen production and hydrogen fuel substitution in the project, with a view to operating the plant on the lowest possible emissions basis.