The Blyth Battery will utilise lithium-ion units and associated equipment from leading manufacturers. These manufacturers are selected through a separate competitive tender process.
In principle, the facility will be an orderly arrangement of battery cabinets, inverters and control systems including electrical and data cabling. The battery packs are enclosed in custom designed, dust and waterproof ‘cabinets’ made of steel. The cabinet colour is white or light coloured to assist with heat management and each cabinet has its own internal thermal management system.
The battery will be 238.5MW / 477MWh, with an approximate footprint of 4 hectares. The height of the battery units is approximately 2.5 metres.
In making the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, the ability to store and dispatch energy will play a key role. Pumped hydro is an example of longer-term storage that is suitable for storing energy and releasing it over days or weeks. However, pumped hydro has a relatively slow ‘ramping’ time and is less suitable for providing rapid-response services to grid contingency events such as outages or heat waves (with high demand created by air-conditioning). Battery storage, such as lithium-ion technology, fills this key short-term response role.
Below are some of the functions a grid-scale lithium-ion battery may be expected to perform:
- Network security services including Frequency Control Ancillary Services, and Network Loading Control Ancillary Services
- System Restart Ancillary Services
- Arbitrage (spot market trading)
- Peak shaving
- Block/load shifting
- Renewable firming and smoothing
- Virtual inertia
Many of these services have been provided by coal and gas generators in the past but as their business models become unviable and they close down, battery energy storage can, and is, being used to deliver these critical services.
Current battery technology comes with an industry-leading 20-year warranty. The batteries still retain most of their capacity at this time, and will be able to operate beyond it depending on market conditions and other factors.
Battery storage can reduce costs for consumers in 3 ways:
1. Supporting more wind and solar, which are now the cheapest forms of power
2. Increasing competition in ancillary markets and pushing electricity prices down
3. Helping to avoid blackouts and the associated costs
We make a commitment that all above-ground infrastructure is removed and the site rehabilitated when a project ceases to operate. After removal, most of the material in the batteries is reclaimed or recycled with over 60% recovered for re-use.
HEALTH & CULTURE
The Blyth Battery is using similar technology to the batteries that are increasingly installed in homes, just on a larger scale. There are no known health risks associated with properly maintained large-scale battery installations.
Monitoring of dust levels during construction is a basic requirement of each project. Dust generating activities are assessed during windy conditions and are stopped and rescheduled where adequate control of dust generation cannot be achieved.
Visual observation of machinery is undertaken during site inspections as well as daily pre-start checks which ensure all machinery has appropriate emission control devices, is in good working order, and is maintained correctly.