Future Grid Manager, TransGrid
The role for energy storage in supporting a stable and reliable renewable energy power system
Fiona Orton is Future Grid Manager at TransGrid, where she is responsible for long-term electricity transmission system planning. She has a special interest in energy system transformation, and how technology, regulation, and consumer preferences will shape future energy markets.
Prior to joining TransGrid, Fiona worked as a consultant and for AGL Energy, in roles spanning sustainability, energy policy, climate change, scenario planning and strategy.
She has published several articles on the need for energy policy, market design, and business models to respond to the changing energy system and consumer requirements.
The power supply mix across the NEM is undergoing a profound transformation; ageing baseload coal power stations are due to retire, and are likely to be replaced with low-cost intermittent renewables, supported by ‘firm’ technologies including energy storage. In NSW alone, over 40 GW of new renewable generation projects have expressed interest in connecting to TransGrid’s transmission network. However, this renewable connection interest is outstripping the capacity available in the current network. Regions with strong solar and wind resources are already congested with new and existing projects at risk of constraints. Only a small fraction of the projects that will ultimately be needed can be accommodated in the current network.
As the electricity system transitions, energy storage has an important role to play in the transmission network to deliver reliable, secure and lower cost services into the future, including to:
- Firm and time shift intermittent renewable generation
- Relieve network congestion and increase the transmission capacity of the existing network
- Provide essential grid support and ancillary services
- Provide a source of Demand Management services at a lower cost than network augmentation
In this session we will discuss examples of the emerging challenges within TransGrid’s network that energy storage can help to resolve, and present case studies including our trial of demand management using commercial scale batteries located at three customer sites in Sydney.