South Australia-based energy storage company 1414 Degrees has partnered with agribusiness and finance partners to identify and develop “smart farm” projects using the company’s thermal energy storage solution (TESS), which recovers energy from molten silicon.

Working with technology provider Ampcontrol and renewable energy project developer BE Power, 1414 Degrees is also partnering with east-coast horticulture company Nectar Farms to assess a greenfield site in the Northern Adelaide Plains.

That project would see 1414 Degrees integrating its grid-scale storage solution, TESS-GRID, into a protected cropping farm development.

Nectar Farms is in the process of establishing an $80 million advanced protected cropping facility in Victoria, with 10 hectares of glasshouses and a large nursery, and 1414 Degrees executive chairman Dr Ken Moriarty says the Northern Adelaide Plains development would be of similar scale.

“The integration of our technologies would result in the first ‘smart farm’ development of its kind globally, delivering another opportunity for our state to lead innovation, address energy costs and stability, and support job creation,” he said.

Ampcontrol, which approached 1414 Degrees to assess the TESS technology for inclusion in the Nectar Farms project, is a global business delivering electrical, electronic and control solutions to improve safety and efficiency in mining, renewable, infrastructure and industrial applications.

BE Power is developing more than 300MW of renewable energy projects across grid-connected solar PV, utility-scale batteries, pumped hydro and biogas power disciplines.

The northern Adelaide site is adjacent to a distribution substation at an SA Water site housing a generator embedded on the NEM, and the plan is to use the substation for electricity supply and generation from the TESS-GRID while providing heat to Nectar Farms.

Several other development sites in South Australia and Victoria will be assessed, Dr Moriarty said.

In May, 1414 Degrees commissioned a biogas solution at SA Water’s Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant.

SA Water and 1414 Degrees have partnered to test the commercial model for the GAS-TESS, an arrangement that will see 1414 Degrees purchasing gas at the market price of methane and selling electricity at the NEM price.