Energy storage firm RedT has turned on its 1MWh flow-lithium hybrid battery at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. The firm hopes to deliver a multi-megawatt version in the UK in 2019.
CEO Scott McGregor outlined plans for “at least one” UK multi-megawatt flow-lithium hybrid battery at the Energyst Event earlier this year.
Announcing the Monash go-live, he said that “absolutely” remains his intention.
“We see a big market in Australia and the UK for hybrid lithium-flow at grid scale to service volatile energy markets,” said McGregor, adding that the company is weighing up “a number of major projects” in the UK.
The firm’s biggest UK deals to date are with Centrica for 1MWh of flow storage co-located with solar PV as part of a local energy market trial in Cornwall, and for four of its flow machines capable of delivering 300kWh with Anglian Water. The company is also trying to find backing for some big deals in Germany.
The Monash project is its first commercial hybrid system. It combines 12 vanadium flow units able to output 900kWh and a 120kW lithium-ion battery.
Monash’s main Clayton campus receives around 55,000 visitors a day and the University has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2030. The plan is to run entirely on renewables and Monash has a government grant in order and apply its experience to Australia’s broader energy grid.
It plans to increase installed solar PV to around 4MW and is coming off natural gas and electrifying its buildings. It will use the storage to maximise its own renewable generation and as well as help to power EV charging points around the campus.
RedT said it is the largest behind the meter energy storage system to date in Australia and McGregor claimed it is “the first commercially viable lithium-Vanadium hybrid system to be installed anywhere.”
He added that the project has “direct” implications for the UK.
“The Australian grid is primarily coal and gas fired, but there is an increasing move towards more decentralised, renewable energy as major energy users look to cut energy bills by moving away from expensive grid energy costs,” said McGregor.
“This is a direct read across to the UK market, where we are seeing increasing numbers of industrial and commercial firms and large energy users looking to switch across to renewables plus storage.”
He suggested that the recent Capacity Market suspension “underlines how important it is to have flexible, decentralised energy infrastructure”.