Cook Shire Solar PV and Battery Storage Project

Lyon was instrumental in the conception and development of the largest and most advanced grid connected utility scale combined solar PV/battery storage/system management plant in the world. *

The project, a 33MWdc Solar PV Project (subsequently reduced by the purchaser to 13MWdc) with minimum 1.4MQ/5.4MQhr Lithium based battery storage, is connected to the fringe grid in Australia and will test the boundaries of operation of utility scale solar battery storage in these conditions. The Project is now in operation.

The Project is attracting considerable international attention given its unique engineering challenges and solutions and is considered the forerunner of similar projects in Australia and globally.

As project developer of solar projects, Lyon is well equipped to undertake all stages of development including securing:

  • Land, planning approval and grid connection;
  • Power purchase agreement;
  • EPC and O&M; and
  • Project debt and equity funding.

* Lyon sold the Cook Shire project at an advanced stage of development, with the purchaser completing the development.

Project Team

Lyon has assembled a strong national and international team of 1st tier solar industry participants and advisors to deliver this iconic project including:

Team Member
Lyon Infrastructure Investments
Project Developer
Worley Parsons/ Advisian
Owner’s engineer
Griffith and James Cook Universities
Knowledge Sharing Partners
Ergon Energy
Knowledge Sharing Partner, system configurer
Ernst & Young (ROAM)
Output analysis; connection application; solar plant modelling
Project EPC
Ernst & Young
Accountants and tax advisers
Allens Linklaters
Legal counsel

Project location

The project is located in the Cook Shire, Queensland Australia at the fringe of the National Electricity Market grid. The grid is operated by Ergon and the Project will connect to Ergon’s Lakeland substation.

Project Equipment

Inverter Type
SMA Sunny Central 900 XP CT with Q at Night (24hr voltage control)
Battery System
5.3 MWh, 1.4MWpk Samsung Lithium Ion Polymer, AC coupled
Battery Management
CHESS battery management system
Panel Type
JA PE 295P – 315P
Grid Connection
The Lakeland substation At 66kV

Construction timeline

Construction is scheduled to commence August 2016, with the Project expected to be operational Q1 2017

Project aim and approach

Key Project Aim: To add additional revenue value to utility scale PV plant located at the fringe of grid by demonstrating management of operational risk. Such revenue could have a significant impact on future project economics.

How to achieve aim: By testing, evolving and qualifying the network value of large scale PV in combination with energy storage such that the combination will be considered as a non-network solution seriously in Regulated Investment Test (RIT-D) processes. Also, to explore and resolve the use of this combination in assisting Ergon meet its “Safety Net” obligations.

Basic Evolution Process

  • Install PV project as simple generation plant through standard connection agreement
  • Add energy storage and run with simple smoothing algorithm
  • Evolve and test the functional specification for the combination, including;
    1. The combination of smoothing and voltage control capability (SVC capability)
    2. The use of the battery for energy arbitrage and peak lopping
    3. The combination of network ancillary, and market, value
    4. The capability of this combination during system contingencies, particularly islanding and when a “safety net” solution is required

Lyon has now sold the Project