Renewables firm Pangea Energy and vanadium battery producer CellCube have signed on to build a 50MW storage system alongside a solar farm in South Australia.

Construction of the 50MW/200MWh grid-scale battery is expected to begin before the end of the year, with plans to be operational in 2020.

Pangea Energy is part of Sen Tek Energy Solutions, a multinational renewable energy project developer in South-East Asia. It signed the letter of intent with Canadian energy storage systems manufacturer CellCube in mid-May.

Developed across 79ha in Port Augusta, the $290 million project is the latest in a string of solar and wind farms proposed to be built in South Australia’s Mid North.

CellCube develops, manufactures and markets its vanadium redox flow technology energy storage systems, which it says can maintain 99% residual energy capacity after 11,000 cycles.

CellCube CEO Stefan Schauss said the battery would offer multiple grid services such as voltage compensation, reactive power and frequency regulation services and renewable baseload to the Australian market alongside a planned 50MW solar project on the same site.

He said the project was a wonderful example of how renewable energy generation and “safe, reliable and sustainable energy storage technology such as the vanadium redox-flow battery” can provide renewable baseload energy.

The closure of the 784MW coal-fired Port Augusta power stations in 2016 signalled an important transition for South Australia, allowing the state to focus on renewables and become a global leader in wind and solar generation.

This has included the commissioning of several major wind farms, the nearby Bungala Solar Power Project and the installation of Tesla’s ‘world’s biggest battery’ at Neoen’s Hornsdale wind farm in the state’s Mid North.

British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta also announced in May his GFG Alliance had received government approval to build its 280MW Cultana Solar Farm at nearby Whyalla.

Pangea CEO Leo Chiang Lin said CellCube was an ideal partner for the solar farm and battery project in Port Augusta.

“Choosing vanadium and working with CellCube as market leader in the vanadium related storage industry is a perfect match for our project,” he said.

“Australia has massive vanadium resources and the exploration of vanadium is pretty simple, cheap and does not have the impact on nature and labour conditions such as cobalt or other rare earths in the lithium industry.”

The Pangea storage project was initiated in 2016 and, after securing regulatory approvals, is on the later stages of predevelopment.

Republished with permission of The Lead South Australia.