Australian infrastructure firm Lyon Group has launched a tender for companies interested in purchasing services from a portfolio of planned large-scale  solar and battery energy storage projects.

The company is seeking expressions of interest for contracts covering up to 640 MWh of storage capacity across the Australian states of Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. It says that the tender is the first of its kind in the world.

Lyon says that it is planning to start construction on a new A$660 million combined large-scale solar and battery storage project at Nowingi in north-west Victoria in the coming months. Lyon Group Partner David Green said the tender was an opportunity for electricity retailers and generators, large electricity users, and other sector participants.

The outcome of the tender will influence the final engineering design of the projects’ battery storage systems. This innovative approach is believed to be a world first, Lyon said.

“Lyon is able to offer multiple services from the same battery system, and flexibility in contract size to accommodate various users,” said David Green, Lyon Group partner. “Lyon will enter into commercial contracts for real services provided by physical assets. This is not a theoretical exercise.”

Services that the battery projects could offer include energy price arbitrage, load shifting, renewable energy ramp control, frequency control and firming capacity.

“These projects are working through development consultation and approvals,” said Green. “The land has been secured, technology and other commercial arrangements are in place, and the required network capacity analysis and consultations are well advanced. Lyon’s projects are 100 per cent equity financed.

“Projects like these are the heart of Australia’s energy transition, allowing for substantially higher levels of variable, low emissions generation, while strengthening the resilience of the system.”

The Nowingi solar project will have a 250 MW capacity and will charge an 80MW/160 MWh battery storage system, making it the world’s second biggest such project, after Lyon’s Riverland project in South Australia, which was announced in March this year.

“Nowingi … will improve the security and reliability of a stretched part the grid and put downward pressure on electricity prices,” said Green.