Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
According to official sources, irrigators alongside the River Murray are now presented with an opportunity to cut down on their power bills. Moreover, they can potentially provide power surety for the Riverland region. This has been possible due to a newly formed partnership between the Central Irrigation Trust (CIT) and Enel X. This duo will now ensure that battery storage units are properly installed at CIT sites. The Central Irrigation Trust shoulders the responsibility to ensure that services are properly given to key Murray irrigation regions. As per the members of the CIT, they have been continuously scouring for ways to slash their power bills. Since it is thirty per cent of their total costs, a reduction in this value will be a great advantage.
Even though they are looking for ways to cut down on the power bills, they have not come across an effective method till now. McCarron said he considered many ideas, including renewable energy options and other on-site power generation, but nothing was effective. As part of the partnership, four systems from 4.4 MW to 7.4 MW are Australia’s largest commercial and industrial battery energy storage systems and CIT locations in Berry, Loveday, Chafy and Wykaly, considered Roxton’s fifth system. The battery stores low-cost electricity from the grid and other sources, some of which is resold to the grid during peak hours. Additionally, Enel X uses specially developed distributed energy resource optimization software to analyse data such as site energy demand, weather forecasts, and grid status to negotiate electricity markets. Jeff Luhnow, CEO of Eneru X Asia and Oceania, opined that the use of battery energy storage systems intelligently manages the trust’s energy usage.
Although it cannot meet the trust’s full performance needs, McCarron said the system offers many benefits during peak hours. In addition, technical and market-related decisions were made by people with the right knowledge and experience to help trust and irrigation companies focus on their own core tasks. The partnership has an initial 15-year contract with the first system to be installed in the first half of 2022.