Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell and Australian renewables investment company Edify have been awarded a A$3.2 billion (US$2.5 billion) contract to provide power from a 100-megawatt battery for the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW).

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The 10-year supply contract will see Edify build the 100MW battery, dubbed the Riverina Energy Storage System (RESS), alongside its 333MW Darlington Point solar farm in Riverina. Meanwhile, Shell Energy has signed a long-term services agreement to access operational rights to a 60MW partition of the battery.

“This long-term services agreement is a model for how large energy users can access dispatchable power like battery storage, which complements renewables, while contributing to a cleaner and more resilient power system,” Shell Energy chief executive Greg Joiner said.

“Shell Energy was pleased to select Edify as its battery energy storage partner in this collaborative approach to meeting the NSW government’s need for an innovative power solution.”

The NSW government stated the new supply contract would commence from July 2022, when existing contracts expire.

Barriers for batteries coming down

Edify chief executive John Cole noted that barriers to acceptance from market and network participants for battery storage were falling as uncertainties that had previously surrounded the growing technology were continually reducing.

“We are proud to be leading the advancement of batteries to shore up the renewable energy market and to increase the availability of clean, green, low-cost, dispatchable electricity,” he said.

“We are pleased to have reached this milestone with Shell Energy and the NSW government and look forward to continuing to work with them as we deliver RESS into commercial operation.”

Edify stated the battery would add flexible dispatchable capacity to the NSW market and complement the existing renewable generation in the region.

The NSW government noted that the RESS would help mitigate energy supply concerns in the region with the upcoming closure of the state’s Liddell coal-powered power station in 2023, after more than 50 years of service.

Construction of the 100MW, 200MW hour lithium-ion battery is expected to be completed by early 2023 and will be operated by Edify.