SMA selected to supply system tech for grid-forming storage project

Thursday, 12 August, 2021

SMA selected to supply system tech for grid-forming storage project

SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA) will supply central inverters for what is reported to be the world’s largest grid-forming storage project. Energy storage technology will play a key role in the Australian energy sector’s transition from conventional fossil fuels towards cleaner, renewable energy.

As part of the project, SMA will supply 109 Medium Voltage Power Stations (MVPS-SCS4200) to Wärtsilä as part of their battery energy storage system (BESS) for AGL’s 250 MW/250 MWh project at Torrens Island in South Australia. It will be AGL’s first grid-scale BESS project.

Once installed, the system will support a broad portfolio of thermal and renewable energy assets, and will help Australia decarbonise and transition towards a 100% renewable energy future.

“This year is SMA’s 40th anniversary, which makes SMA the longest-standing PV system technology brand in the world,” SMA Executive Vice President Global Sales Large-Scale Storage Marko Werner said.

“SMA has always focused on new ideas and technology. To be selected to supply to the world’s largest grid-forming storage project vindicates our focus on innovation. It is also significant that we have been selected alongside Wärtsilä, with whom we have worked together successfully in markets all over the world.”

The flexible capacity provided by Wärtsilä’s advanced ESS, which includes 109 SMA MVPS-SCS4200, provides an efficient means for balancing the supply of energy from renewable sources, thereby maintaining the stability and reliability of the grid.

The SMA MVPS-SCS4200 is a turnkey solution for large-scale storage systems. With the power of the new robust central storage inverters, the Sunny Central Storage UP and adapted medium-voltage components, it offers even more power density and is available worldwide.

The Wärtsilä system will operate initially in grid-following mode before switching at a later date to grid-forming mode (synchronous generation — VSG), making it the largest energy storage solution capable of operating in this mode. This will enable very fast response times and will futureproof the Torrens Island facility. The complex solution is supported by Wärtsilä’s advanced GEMS Power Plant Controller and energy management software.

“The Torrens Island project has huge implications globally; Australia is among the leading countries in the world when it comes to high levels of renewable energy feeding into the grid at particular times of the day,” commented Joshua Birmingham, Director of Large-Scale and Project Solutions at SMA Australia.

“By proving that SMA technology can provide stability to the grid, we will enable smoother transition from traditional generation sources towards [a] grid dominated by renewable energy. We are looking forward to working closely with the Wärtsilä team, leveraging our extensive local experience to ensure this project is a success for all.”

Wärtsilä Energy President Sushil Purohit added, “This is a landmark project, and we are proud to have been selected as the ESS provider. Renewable generation is growing rapidly in South Australia, and the flexibility of our technology and the in-house experience we bring can together be instrumental in maintaining a reliable and affordable electricity supply for South Australian consumers — both household and business — for years to come.”

Image credit: ©

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