SMA solution integrates renewable energies into Australia’s largest hybrid renewable microgrid

SMA solution integrates renewable energies into Australia’s largest hybrid renewable microgrid

EDL’s Agnew Hybrid Renewable Project for Gold Fields’ Agnew Gold Mine in Western Australia integrates a 4 MW solar farm, 18 MW wind power and 13 MW/4 MWh battery energy storage system as well as 21 MW gas/diesel engine power plant, and is Australia's largest hybrid renewable microgrid. In addition to the Sunny Central solar inverters, SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA) delivered six Sunny Central Storage battery inverters into the project. An SMA Hybrid Controller controls the battery system as part of an advanced microgrid control system, which ensures the gold mine gets more than 50% of its power consumption from renewable energies, while always guaranteeing the highest quality of power and supply.

“Since we started developing our storage inverter solution, our main objective which guided portfolio strategy, was always to increase the share of renewable resources to its maximum in the electricity grid. Sunny Central Storage running in Grid Forming mode and the system management by Hybrid Controller are the core of SMA’s Large Scale Storage Solution, allowing for 100% renewable penetration,” said Mohamed Mustafa, Business Developer for BU Large Scale & Project Solutions at SMA.

The goal of this groundbreaking hybrid system is to supply Gold Fields' Agnew gold mine with renewable energy in the long term and to reduce the carbon emissions of the mine. The innovative project is intended to serve as an example of how to advance the decarbonisation of the mining sector.

On an islanded grid, renewable resources are the most economical option due to the distance of main supply of fuel, cost of fuel, and security of supply. However, fluctuations in renewable energy means that it must be managed properly. The more renewables installed on a plant, the more challenging the power management would be. Renewable energy fluctuations have traditionally been managed by extra generation capacity. EDL chose Saft’s energy storage solution in combination with SMA’s Large Scale Storage Solution to manage the multiple renewable energy sources for the Agnew project. The installation of SMA’s Sunny Central inverters by juwi ensures the standardisation of technology across the project.

Equipped with an SMA Large Scale Storage Solution, a plant can respond instantaneously to power fluctuations with nearly no operating costs. Running in grid forming mode, the system can run even without conventional power generation, making it 100% renewable. Thus, the cost of electricity and the security of power supply are improved.

Photo courtesy of EDL.

About SMA
As a leading global specialist in photovoltaic system technology, the SMA Group is setting the standards today for the decentralised and renewable energy supply of tomorrow. SMA’s portfolio contains a wide range of efficient PV inverters, holistic system solutions for PV systems of all power classes, intelligent energy management systems and battery-storage solutions as well as complete solutions for PV diesel hybrid applications. Digital energy services as well as extensive services up to and including operation and maintenance services for PV power plants round off SMA’s range. SMA inverters with a total output of 85 gigawatts have been installed in more than 190 countries worldwide. SMA’s multi-award-winning technology is protected by approximately 1,500 patents and utility models. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and is listed in the SDAX index.

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