The CEFC has committed $150 million in debt finance to stage one of the Lincoln Gap wind farm, in South Australia’s Port Augusta region. Part of the financing will go towards a 10MW battery energy storage system, capable of producing up to 10MWh of fast response storage capacity.

The 212MW Lincoln Gap project, being developed by Nexif Energy Australia, will produce enough electricity to power around 155,000 homes. Stage One of the project is a $300 million, 126MW development.

“Large-scale battery technology is developing rapidly, and we expect costs to fall significantly, as we have seen with wind and solar,” said CEFC wind sector lead Andrew Gardner.

The project is the first in Australia to secure debt finance for a grid-connected large-scale battery component on a non-subsidised basis, Gardner said.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts Australia will have more than 29,000MW of flexible capacity installed by 2040, including both large-scale and small-scale batteries and demand response capability. This growth will support better management of variable generation as lower cost renewables become an increasingly important part of the electricity mix.

The 10MW Lincoln Gap battery will complement other large-scale battery projects in South Australia, including the 30MW battery being built by ElectraNet on the York Peninsula and the 100MW Tesla battery being built by Neoen near Jamestown. Together, these projects will provide a significant amount of frequency response services to the South Australian grid.

The Lincoln Gap project is expected to be operational from mid-2018. It has secured two long term Large Scale Generation Certificate (LGC) agreements with ERM Power and a long-term electricity offtake agreement with Snowy Hydro. It will feed into the national electricity grid via the Electranet transmission network.

Zeki Akbas from Nexif Energy Australia said construction of the wind farm, 15 kilometres west of the Spencer Gulf town of Port Augusta, was expected to begin by the end of November.

“With the scalable battery storage at Lincoln Gap we will be able to offer more flexibility to the national grid and improve the reliability of the system,” said Zeki Akbas from Nexif Energy Australia.

The project will feature the first turbines from Senvion’s flagship 3.XM range to be installed in Australia. The Senvion 3.6M140 EBC turbine is designed for moderate and strong wind speeds to enable optimised load management even in challenging wind conditions.

Paul Broad, CEO of Snowy Hydro, said the company was pleased to support the development of the Lincoln Gap Wind Farm through signing a long-term electricity offtake agreement.

“This agreement expands Snowy Hydro’s energy footprint in South Australia, now encompassing wind, solar and diesel peaking capabilities in the State,” Broad said.

The CEFC’s South Australian investment follows its recent $94 million investment in Australia’s first fully integrated wind, solar and battery project, at the Queensland Kennedy Energy Park.