As Australia modernizes its grid infrastructure and moves towards aggressive carbon emission reductions, it is undergoing one of the most rapid energy transitions in the world.
As part of this transition, the Silver City Energy Storage Centre will eliminate the need for major investments in expensive new transmission lines and ongoing reliance on highly polluting diesel generators.
The proposed Center will discharge 1,600 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity, capable of delivering 8+ hours of energy delivery on a full charge.
The project received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program. To learn more, visit ARENA.GOV.AU
In December 2023 Silver City was awarded both a Network Service Agreement with Transgrid, and a Long-Term Energy Service Agreement (LTESA) from AEMO Services under the New South Wales government’s electricity infrastructure roadmap, marked significant progress for our Silver City project
Silver City provides diversified skilled mining and construction job opportunities and generates significant regional economic development during both the construction and operation phases of the Centre. Delivers greater direct and indirect benefits compared to lithium-ion battery projects, with substantial in-situ construction works and a 50+ year lifetime.
Additionally, A-CAES uses standard components and enables skilled workers from the mining and fossil-fuel industry to leverage existing skills while contributing to Australia’s clean energy future.
The Centre will deliver backup electrical capacity for Broken Hill ensuring the lights stay on and the mining infrastructure continues to operate in the event that the transmission line fails. A-CAES can also improve the reliability of supply to Broken Hill by making maximum use of existing renewables in the region, without the need to import and store large quantities of diesel fuel.
The Centre will maximize the efficient use of the existing transmission lines with benefits for the consumer and for generators across Western NSW and Victoria. Today, the transmission lines that transport the electricity generated in the Western areas of NSW and Victoria to major demand centre’s such as Sydney and Melbourne often reach their maximum safe capacity when renewable output is at its peak.
This leads to higher line loses and forces local renewable production to be scaled back or shut down entirely, preventing these facilities from realizing their full economic and environmental potential. Traditionally, this problem is solved by the construction of expensive new transmission lines that are unsightly, prone to impacts from severe weather and can take years to gain environmental and stakeholder consent.
The Silver City A-CAES project will instead solve this problem at much lower cost to the consumer by storing excess renewable electricity when transmission capacity is constrained and then sending that electricity down the same lines later in the day when capacity is available.
Options to cost-effectively expand either storage duration (i.e. MWhs of storage) or capacity (i.e. MWs of capacity) post-construction, allowing for low-cost, easy to deliver, future adjustment of the Centre’s configuration as market and grid needs continue to evolve.
Silver City povides an emission-free power plant that supports Australia’s objective of reducing carbon emissions to 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030 in addition to Broken Hill’s local goal of achieving 100% renewable energy supply by 2030. Also avoids the burning and trucking in of large amounts of diesel fuel that supplies the current reliability solution for Broken Hill.
A-CAES can provide the equivalent bulk energy storage capabilities as pumped hydro with substantially lower land and water requirements, while repurposing existing mining infrastructure that would otherwise be retired.
Deliver on-demand electricity when the grid needs it by storing and dispatching renewable energy generated in Western NSW and Western Victoria.
The Centre will unlock the region’s renewable potential by relieving the pressure on the existing overloaded electrical transmission system. This will reduce line losses and curtailment of existing renewable facilities and allow new renewable projects to come online in the region.
Integrate renewable energy
Stimulate economic growth and new jobs
Transmission and fossil fuel alternative
Repurpose mining infrastructure