Electro Power Systems (EPS) has delivered a storage system that will be linked to the Coober Pedy Renewable Hybrid Power Project microgrid in Southern Australia.

The arrival at the destination, scheduled for the end of February, marks the official start of the installation and commissioning phase of the project, granted to a company part of the Toshiba Group and developed in partnership with EPS.

The system delivery has taken place upon the completion of the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) during the second half of December 2016 at the EPS manufacturing site in Delebio (Sondrio).

The Coober Pedy Renewable Hybrid Power Project, realised by EDL in the context of 900 MW of power generation capacity managed between Australia, the US and Europe, is a concrete example of this new generation of off-grid microgrids.

The availability of solar and wind energy sources, combined with the adoption of the most advanced technologies in the field of storage to master the intermittency of renewables, will significantly reduce the use of diesel generators. This will ensure, simultaneously, a stable supply of energy to local populations.

The microgrid energy output will be underpinned by a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with the District Council of Coober Pedy and supported by the Australian Government.

EPS system, a proper hybrid power plant, will be connected to a microgrid composed by (in its final configuration) 1 MW of
solar panels, 4 MW wind turbines and up to 6 MVA of generators combined with 1 MW of storage system. Thus, the system
will be able to cover up to 70% of the demand, supplying the inhabitants of the area – about 1,600 people – with energy
from renewable sources for the hybrid power plant’s 20-year life.

EPS vice president Nicola Vaninetti said: " Development of this project in a remote location with extreme climatic characteristics such as Coober Pedy, located in a desert area about 850 kilometres in the north of Adelaide, highlights the applicability of EPS technology even in the most challenging environmental conditions.

"Through the concrete possibility to combine wind, solar and energy storage, our technology provides, to all areas of the world where the grid is not present or is unreliable, a cleaner and economic system to achieve energy independence by diesel generators and to reduce electricity bills.

"In addition, it has the advantage of protecting the mining industry against the volatility of fuel prices and, for the local communities that host mining settlements, to be a resource for renewable energy plants even at the end of the mine life cycle."

The Coober Pedy hybrid power plant is expected to be commissioned by the 1H 2017.