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First sodium sulphur battery installed in Australia

The Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) has announced Australia’s first sodium-sulphur (NAS) battery has been installed at the IGO Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine site.

The 250 kW/1.45 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) demonstration unit will provide long-duration storage, according to FBICRC Chief Executive Officer Shannon O’Rourke.

O’Rourke said: “The NAS battery technology is mature and has been successfully installed and operated at over 250 sites worldwide over the past 20 years.

“These field deployments help build market confidence, train our workforce and build capability in the contracting community.”

NAS batteries that are designed for long duration energy storage applications (six to eight hours or more), have the ability to shift large quantities of energy into periods of low renewable generation.

More than 250 NAS battery sites across the world are already in operation.

Battery performance will be assessed by the QUT operated National Battery Testing Centre, and the University of Western Australia.

Nova mine site’s NAS battery is fully installed and has been in operation since mid-February 2023.

Allset Energy, BASF’s engineering, procurement and construction partner, was the lead contractor in delivering the design, construction and commissioning.

IGO’s Acting CEO Matt Dusci said: “IGO is committed to prioritising research and development to accelerate IGO and the broader mining industry’s response to climate change.

“The BASF NAS battery trial at our Nova Operation is an important way to field test the suitability of this unique technology in a mining environment and how this will contribute to a clean energy future.”

Chair and Managing Director of BASF Australia and New Zealand David Hawkins said that BASF had committed to net zero emissions by 2050.

Hawkins said: “Central to this long-term transition is the use of new technologies.”

Picture: Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre