Energy Vault Deploying Two BESS Totaling 400 MWh at 720 MW ACEN Solar Project in Australia

May 13, 2024
The BESS will be charged and discharged on a daily basis and dispatch stored renewable energy at peak consumption hours to help reduce the region’s dependency on coal-fired power generation

Energy Vault Holdings, a developer of sustainable, grid-scale energy storage solutions, and ACEN Australia have entered into contractual agreements for two battery energy storage system (BESS) deployments totaling 400 MWh at ACEN's 720 MW New England Solar project near Uralla, Australia. 

Both deployments are expected to begin construction in the second half of 2024, and commercial operations are anticipated to start in 2025 and 2026. Under final contract procedural preparation, the agreements are expected to be executed and closed formally within the first half of May 2024.

As per the agreement, Energy Vault will deploy a 50 MW/100 MWh BESS and a 150 MW/300 MWh BESS at the project - one of the solar projects to participate in Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM). The BESS will be charged and discharged daily and dispatch stored renewable energy at peak consumption hours to help meet the high demand during New South Wales’ peak load hours, thereby reducing the region’s dependency on coal-fired power generation. 

“ACEN Australia’s New England Solar is a critical source of renewable energy for the NSW region, and we are proud to play a role in ensuring its ability to reliably provide the region with clean power in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible,” said Robert Piconi, Chairman and CEO of Energy Vault

The BESS deployments, developed under Energy Vault’s B-VAULT suite of fully integrated battery energy storage solutions, will be joined by a Siemens S120 inverter. The inverter helps provide advanced grid support functionalities such as voltage and frequency ride-through, grid support during disturbances, and reactive power control. 

The Siemens S120 inverter, Energy Vault’s X-Vault integration platform, and Vault-OS Energy Management System will deliver superior energy management capabilities. They will control, manage, and optimize the BESS operations.

The New England BESS project is supported by the NSW Government’s Emerging Energy Program and is part of ACEN’s broader strategy in Australia, where they are developing over 1 GW of projects.

The project completed Stage 1 of construction in 2023 when 400MW of solar generation was officially brought online. Once Stage 2 is completed, the site will generate 1,800 GWh of renewable electricity annually. 

ACEN Australia secured a 20-year Long-Term Energy Service Agreement (LTESA) for the project at the NSW Government’s first renewable energy and storage auction. The LTESA is a risk management mechanism to support the project in the future if the National Electricity Market experiences a sustained period of low prices.