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Ergon Energy Network adopts Saft lithium-ion energy storage system for remote communities in Australia

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Ergon Energy Network, an Australian electricity distribution network operator in Queensland, has deployed 20 Saft Intensium Mini lithium-ion (Li-ion) energy storage systems (ESS) at 13 sites in Queensland over four years. 

Saft’s first ESS project in Australia has been commissioned as part of the Grid Utility Support System (GUSS) units to support Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) networks. Ergon Energy Network ordered the GUSS units as a cost-effective alternative to traditional augmentation on SWER networks.

The growth in demand, together with load types ranging from typical domestic loads to intense farming loads, means that many of Ergon Energy Network’s SWER feeders are now subject to capacity and voltage constraints. This is an increasingly significant issue as customers are now growing their use of sensitive electronic equipment. The Saft Intensium Mini in each GUSS unit stores energy when spare capacity is available and returns it to the network at times of peak demand.

Stephen Richardson, senior technology innovation engineer, Ergon Energy Network, said: “We have been monitoring the operation of the GUSS units since they entered operation and can report that they are supporting the network as expected. The GUSS project has enabled us to improve the quality of power delivered and to integrate energy storage into our grid.”

Each of the GUSS units is fitted with a Saft Intensium Mini ESS to provide 100 kWh energy storage capacity and 25 kVA power at up to 800 V. An important aspect of Saft’s Li-ion battery technology is that it can operate reliably in the Outback, where temperatures range from 0 to 45˚C. It also has rugged construction for straightforward transportation between remote sites. The units can be installed singly or in pairs to deliver 25 or 50 kVA, depending on Ergon Energy Network’s requirements, historical data, local knowledge and power system modelling.

The 20 Saft Intensium Mini systems were manufactured in Saft’s specialised Li-ion factory in Jacksonville, Florida.

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