Kerim Mekki headshot

Kerim Mekki

Technical Director, Aurecon

Microgrids: The Swiss Army Knife of Energy

15.45 – 17.00 | Thursday 13 June 2019

Batteries to maximise solar PV generation in islanded mining systems: a WA case study of optimal battery sizing for a 50 MW solar plant connection

11.45 – 13.00 | Friday 14 June 2019

Dr Kerim Mekki is a Technical Director at Aurecon, a global engineering and infrastructure advisory company.

At Aurecon, innovation is a mindset that involves looking at problems differently and reframing them as opportunities.

Kerim is a senior electrical engineer and a consultant with twenty years of experience in Australian and in international projects.

His broad engineering experience encompasses high voltage electrical installations, high voltage power network modelling and analysis, power plants, renewable generation, mining, hydropower, large pumping stations, and energy storage, with a particular interest in battery systems.

He currently serves as a member the International Council on Large Electric Systems (Cigre) group C6/C1.33 on Multi-energy system interactions in distribution grids, and as a member of the Industry Advisory Board of the University of New South Wales.

Kerim recent experience with energy storage projects includes the following:

  • Power system study lead for the 30 MW 11 MWh Alinta Newman battery energy storage integration. The project received the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards 2018 in the category Innovation/Research and Development
  • Technical advisory for the Ausnet Ballarat 30 MW 30 MWh battery system.
  • Technical advisor for Infigen Energy Lake Boney 25 MW 52 MWh battery energy storage system.
  • Concept design and assessment of a battery energy storage system to support the integration of 40-120 MW of solar generation to a QLD islanded mining power system.
  • Study of a 50 MW solar PV plant and 40 MW battery project for a WA islanded mining power system.

Abstract Outline: 

  • Solar PV integration into an islanded system can be limited by power supply reliability and security targets, particularly where the solar generation exceed 30% of the average load.
  • Batteries can mitigate greatly the risks inherent to renewable generation integration. Batteries can substantially increase the solar plant ratings.
  • Discussion on the study case.

Commercial review of the different battery storage functions in this context:

  • Spinning reserve function mitigates greatly reliability and security risk, for a limited capex, enabling larger solar plant connection.
  • However load shifting battery with higher capex gives no value in this context, as the energy cost does not vary sufficiently during the day and part of the energy is lost in the charge/discharge cycle.
  • Discussion on the study case.