The Australian state of New South Wales has given the green light for another large-scale solar PV and battery project. German renewables developer Wirsol Energy has revealed that it has secured amended development approval for a 445 MW solar and energy storage hybrid power plant in the state.
Wirsol, a subsidiary of Germany-based renewables group Wircon, said the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) in Australia has approved the Maryvale Solar and Energy Storage project, which will couple a 175 MW solar farm with up to 270 MWh of energy storage.
The Maryvale Solar and Energy Storage project builds upon an original proposal for a 125 MW solar farm. The expanded project will comprise approximately 235 MWp of solar PV capacity “DC-coupled” with 190 MWh to 270 MWh of energy storage.
Wirsol, which acquired a majority stake in the original project late last year from Netherlands-based renewables developer Photon Energy, said the approval brings it a step closer to building what it described as “a market-first hybrid solar and energy storage plant.” The company said the DC-coupling of solar generation and energy storage involves connecting both elements directly into the inverters at the site, allowing it to function as a predictable and dispatchable generation asset.
“This means that solar or grid energy can be efficiently stored for later use when the market requires it,” Wirsol said in a statement. “It also allows what is known as ‘clipped’ energy to be stored, thereby increasing the effective production of the photovoltaic components compared to a traditional solar plant.”
The company said the flexibility afforded by combining renewable energy generation and storage is far better suited to meeting the needs of Australia’s electricity market.
“The pairing means that the plant’s output into the grid is fully controllable, ensuring stability of supply whilst allowing it to bid into markets previously unavailable to variable renewable energy plants,” Wirsol said.
Construction is expected to begin in 2023, with commercial operations to commence in early 2025. Once completed, the project will generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of approximately 82,000 homes per year. It will deliver at least 3 GW of renewable energy into the grid.