Saft, a subsidiary of French company TotalEnergies, has been awarded the contract by Meridian Energy to construct New Zealand’s first large-scale grid-connected battery energy storage system. Located at Ruakākā in the country’s North Island, the 100 MW, 200 MWh BESS is intended to improve the stability of the national grid, as renewable power generation increases in New Zealand. The BESS is the first stage of a project that will include the construction of a co-located 130 MW solar farm by Meridian Energy.

Saft is providing a fully integrated solution including supply of the battery and power conversion equipment, installation, commissioning and 20 years operational services. Scheduled to enter service in the second half of 2024. Its 200 MWh capacity will be able to support local grid demand for around two hours.

It will also open multiple revenue streams for Meridian, with the ability to load shift between price periods and participate in the North Island reserve electricity market. Meridian anticipates that the BESS will deliver annual revenues of up to $35 million (USD).

The solution supplied by Saft will include 80 Intensium Shift battery containers based on lithium iron phosphate (LFP) technology with a power management system provided by a third-party supplier. Saft will integrate the equipment with Meridian and Transpower 33 kV switchgear, togerthr with a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.

Said to be suited to energy time-shifting, peaking and capacity support applications, Intensium-Shift 3 MWh containers are scalable building blocks that include tested safety devices such as fire suppression systems and blast panels.