Hybrid Systems Australia, Pacific Energy’s integrated renewables subsidiary, says it has delivered Western Australia’s largest network-integrated battery energy storage system (BESS) as a part of Fortescue Metals Group’s Pilbara Energy Connect project, which aims to power the miner’s Pilbara iron ore operations with renewable energy.
Hybrid Systems Australia designed, installed and commissioned 42 MW of interconnected battery storage for two Fortescue mine sites, making it one of the world’s largest network-connected BESS to be developed for a mining application, the company says.
The batteries, which are now fully operational, have been developed alongside solar and new low emissions gas-fired generation that will be owned and operated by Fortescue as part of the company’s Pilbara Energy Connect (PEC) program.
HSA said: “The battery systems use industry-leading grid stabilising control systems, including millisecond-response capabilities and Kokam battery technology, to provide greater protection against load spikes and dips and ensure overall network stability.”
The batteries’ primary role is for grid stability and support, providing spinning reserve backup to any gas generation outages or sudden changes in the solar output. They will store energy from Fortescue’s planned 150 MW of nearby solar power, enabling mining activities to be powered by more renewable energy and cutting the annual carbon emissions of the mines.
Mike Hall, Executive Director of Hybrid Systems Australia, said the project represented one of the largest and most technologically advanced BESS projects the company had undertaken, and that systems of this size were critical to Fortescue’s move towards eliminating the use of fossil fuels in their operations by 2030.
“Our industry-leading design, network integration experience and strong partnerships meant we could readily deliver a large-scale solution that will allow Fortescue to continue its rapid upscale of renewable capacity and deliver on its real zero target,” he said.
“Our BESS are built specifically for remote Australia’s harsh conditions and can be sized from 1 MW to 200 MW, which makes them ideal for large-scale mining applications where the objective is greater reliance on clean energy.”
Fortescue Chief Operating Officer Iron Ore, Dino Otranto, said: “At Fortescue, we are committed to eliminating the use of fossil fuels across our operations by 2030. We were pleased to partner with Hybrid Systems Australia on the BESS, which are a significant component of our investment in the PEC program.
“PEC will not only supply low-cost power to our Iron Bridge operations, but importantly will support Fortescue’s world-leading decarbonisation agenda, allowing the incorporation of additional large scale renewable energy into our network in the future.”
The project included specialised involvement from its subsidiaries, Pacific Energy Pty Ltd, which is delivering the PEC’s low-emissions gas-fuelled power station, MVLV Power Solutions, which designed, manufactured and installed the switchgear and BESS enclosures, and Digital Intelligence, which delivered the BESS control systems.
Hybrid Systems Australia partnered with Hitachi Energy and Kokam to bring together expertise and key battery components from the two specialist equipment suppliers to deliver a solution for Fortescue. It also worked closely with Supply Nation accredited vendors, including electrical contractor, Boodjara Pty Ltd, and local electrical wholesalers, Myelec and D&W Electrical.