Press Release

Australia leaps to the front in testing emerging technologies in utility scale storage + solar PV


BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND, 29 July, 2015 - Lyon Infrastructure Investment (Lyon), an independent renewables developer, announced today that its Cook Shire Solar Storage Project, a 26MW Solar PV plus 5MWh battery storage located at the very fringe of the Australian National Electricity Market, is set to commence construction by the fourth quarter of 2015.

The Cook Project is a globally unique Project and addresses a number of issues critical to connecting combined utility scale solar PV/ battery storage at a fringe of grid location. These issues are some of the most challenging facing the renewables sector today and are fundamental to the deployment of solar PV/battery storage in Australia and around the world.

A World and Australian First

  • The Cook Project is not only a world first, but a first for Australia in integrating large-scale solar energy/ storage into a fringe-of-grid location
  • A fully controlled inverter system providing predictable and demandable renewable power supply
  • Seamless integration of renewable energy into the grid network
  • Voltage and frequency control/power quality
  • Islanding functionality
  • Primary control reserve service potential
  • Demonstrates baseload capabilities
  • Creates a leadership position for Australia and Queensland, building an innovative reputation in the global renewable energy arena
  • Opportunity for the development of new business models and future revenues from renewables and storage
  • Global attention and appeal
  • Training and creation and of specialist Australian skillsets
  • Creates a focus on gathering knowledge, key learnings and sharing/further developing ideas locally and globally
  • Piloting/testing capabilities in a real-life scenario

Project Facts

  • 26MW solar PV ground mounted fixed array located at Lakeland, far northern Queensland
  • 1.4 MW/ 5.3 MWhr Lithium Ion Polymer AC battery storage providing discharge for 3 hours at 1.4MW output
  • SMA Sunny Central 900 XP CT inverter with Q at Night (24hr voltage control)
  • Hybrid Energy Storage Solution
  • Designed to withstand cyclones (designed to Wind Region C standards)
  • Strong community and council support
  • Team includes one of the world’s largest solar companies, a global resource company, a major network service provider, and some of Australia’s foremost solar/ battery storage academics

David Green, Partner, Lyon Infrastructure explains that Lyon, with the support of a number of leading industry players and academic institutions, has been quietly developing the Cook Project for two years. Mr. Green said, “The Australian market has very few construction ready solar projects, let alone projects that address grid connected combined utility solar PV and battery storage. The Cook Project is the only one as we understand it”. David said, “Lyon is currently finalising the finance for the Cook Project, with construction expected to commence in the last quarter of 2015.”

A Strong Team

Lyon has brought together some of the sector’s leading players to participate in the Cook Project, including one of the world’s largest solar companies, a global resource company, a major network service provider, and some of Australia’s foremost solar/ battery storage academics. Lyon is acutely aware of the valuable intellectual property that will come from the Cook Project and the importance of this to increasing the deployment of renewables.

“We understand from a number of independent sources that the Cook Project is a global first - and it’s happening right here in Australia. “This is a renewable project Australia should be trumpeting to the world”, David said.

Lyon is currently in discussions with a number of multinationals, including a global resource company, on how to apply the learnings from the Cook Project to improve costs, sustainability and security of supply across their global operations. David added, “Even though we have kept a low profile, the international interest in the Cook Project has started to become overwhelming, leaving Lyon with little alternative than to make an announcement regarding the project”.

David said Lyon had been working through a number of the critical issues associated with the combination of battery storage and utility scale solar PV. “We are able to employ leading edge technology with a battery management system, managing the ‘smarts’ of the battery”, explained David, “and we have a pipeline of further developments bringing solar plus storage to the local market at scale. The Cook Project represents a step change in the market and it will be the first of many.”

Also key to progressing the Cook Project has been the strong local community support and the leadership of the Cook Shire Council and its Mayor Peter Scott. “We have been overwhelmed by the support of Peter and the Council which sees renewable energy and solar PV as the way of the future for the Cook Shire”, said David

About Lyon

Lyon is an independent partnership established in 2003 with a focus on development, principal investment, funds management and advisory in Australia and Asia in the energy, water, agricultural sectors. The Lyon team has developed over 350MW of renewable energy projects in Australia, Japan and South East Asia. Lyon is currently developing solar PV and storage projects in Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, Japan and India.