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Back to News 14 November 2023

Future Energy Week: Big battery powers Tonsley Innovation District

Tonsley Innovation District – already a leader in renewable energy production – is another step closer to relying entirely on renewable energy sources with the installation of a giant battery.

The 4 MWh lithium-ion battery will store excess energy created by Tonsley’s 13,000 solar panels, which generate more than 7,000 MWh per year from the Main Assembly Building roofline and provide around 60% of the District’s current energy needs during daylight hours.

With enough storage capacity to power 200 average households for a day, the battery is the biggest one ever to be installed in South Australia by specialist renewable energy company and Tonsley tenant CleanPeak Energy and will be used to provide energy across the District outside of daylight hours, including the homes of Tonsley Village residents, which feed into the Tonsley microgrid.

Planned future stages of the battery’s delivery will take its capacity to 10 MWh.

The battery was switched this week as part of the 2023 Future Energy Week conference held at the Tonsley Innovation District and featuring speakers including Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen MP, Deputy Premier Susan Close, Minister for Energy and Mining Tom Koutsantonis MP and Flinders University Principal Sustainability Strategist William Van Ausdal.

"Since its inception, Tonsley has positioned itself as a world-leader in sustainability, becoming Australia’s first urban renewal development to receive the internationally-recognised 6 Star Green Star Communities Certification. It is fantastic to see CleanPeak Energy and Renewal SA leading by example with this battery. The timing of its completion as we come together for Future Energy Week underlines the strength and quality of innovation that is happening here at Tonsley and in South Australia. "

Renewal SA Executive Director, Property and Major Projects Todd Perry.

CleanPeak Energy owns and operates Tonsley Innovation District’s energy scheme in the form of a microgrid. The new battery takes the company’s total investment at Tonsley past $30 million.

CleanPeak Energy Chief Executive Philip Graham showcasing the new battery.

"This is an important project for us as it is the largest battery we have installed behind the meter anywhere in Australia. It will deliver a number of important benefits to Tonsley. The battery will be charged with solar energy generated on site that would otherwise be exported to the grid and made available for use across Tonsley during other times. It will also reduce congestion in the network by taking excess solar out of the system and storing it for use at the site during the evenings. It moves us closer to realising our ambition to power the site from 100% renewable sources, delivering a Net Zero strategy for the Tonsley precinct. "

CleanPeak Energy Chief Executive, Philip Graham

The Tonsley community includes around 2,000 people employed across 140 organisations as well as 8,500 students and more than 600 residents who are set to use power that is almost completely generated by renewable sources.

Tonsley has become South Australia’s hub for renewable energy and clean tech innovation, bringing together business and research institutes to power the energy transition.

The Government of South Australia’s Climate Change Action Plan pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Future Energy Week – delivered by the Tonsley Future Energy Consortium – is a series of events designed to showcase the best and brightest in energy while connecting organisations with current and emerging innovators who are contributing to the clean energy transition.

About Tonsley Innovation District

During the last decade Tonsley Innovation District has become a melting pot of more than 140 businesses, including many in the clean tech and renewable space. It has become a future energy cluster; formalised through the Future Energy Consortium that brings together key actors along the renewable energy value chain from energy auditing, implementation, automation, monitoring and management.

The Consortium is behind Future Energy Week which includes a series of events designed to showcase the best and brightest in energy while connecting organisations with current and emerging innovators who are contributing to the clean energy transition.

Tonsley is also home to South Australia’s first hydrogen hub and boasts more than 1061 trees and 42,513 plants and shrubs sitewide including within the MAB forests, along streets, greenways and wetlands.

About CleanPeak Energy

CleanPeak Energy is a specialist distributed energy business that focuses on providing renewable energy to its customers’ sites.

The company was formed in 2017 to build, own and operate renewable generation, energy storage and district energy systems across the country, with the aim of delivering the lowest cost and highest efficiency electricity solutions for large commercial and industrial customers seeking Net Zero energy strategies.

CleanPeak is uniquely positioned in the market operating the energy infrastructure at Barangaroo, Central Park, Mascot Terminal 3 and Tonsley Innovation District. In addition, it has more than 50 operating solar and battery sites around the country where it delivers renewable energy to its customers.

Together at Tonsley


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