How Lyon’s projects are unique
Lyon’s fully integrated solar battery power stations are the only projects that will provide energy to the grid in a form that is 100% renewable, firm, dispatchable and grid enhancing.
What fundamentally sets Lyon’s projects apart is Lyon’s design philosophy, that new generation should meet the power system requirements of a modern and stable grid. This design philosophy underpins the operational flexibility of our projects, their provision of grid enhancing services, and their ability to access multiple revenue streams and provide commercial returns to investors.
Traditional standalone solar and wind farms provide intermittent and unstable energy to the electricity network.
Battery storage charged from the electricity grid stores predominantly carbon-intensive electricity generated by traditional fossil fuel generators and therefore do not dispatch renewable energy. This will be the case for many years. Co-locating battery storage with a renewable project does not change this reality.
Unlike traditional standalone solar and wind, a power station that truly integrates utility-scale solar and battery storage delivers the power system requirements for a stable grid.
The design of Lyon’s solar battery power stations is characterised by four key features:
- Integration of advanced technology to bring the benefits of utility scale BESS together with grid forming inverters to provide stabilising benefits to the grid.
- Full integration of behind-the-meter renewable energy generation and BESS that allows dispatchability of the renewable energy (Lyon will introduce full dispatchability to its projects in a staged manner).
- Connection to the grid via a single connection point, with the solar plus BESS managed by a single power plant controller, providing a voltage control strategy that optimises the benefit to the grid at the connection point.
- An ability to deliver services concurrently to the grid connection point and therefore generate additional revenues.
These features enable Lyon’s projects to dispatch renewable energy at levels of speed and flexibility not achievable from any other generation, including hydro.
Better for power system security
Lyon’s approach has been to develop projects that manage the quality of the power dispatched. This makes a direct positive contribution to network strength and also reduces the risk to revenues from changing market conditions. Our projects are designed to enhance grid stability at their connection point and to ultimately operate as fully dispatchable renewable plants, utilising the most advanced inverter, storage and control scheme technologies available.
Better for consumers
Lyon’s projects are solar peakers, with four hour storage. Only Lyon’s truly integrated solar battery power plants bring new competition in peaking generation by delivering peaking power at or below the cost of gas peakers. This provides downward pressure on electricity prices.
Peaking generation is becoming more important as the penetration of traditional standalone renewables becomes higher.
Better for investors
In considering renewable projects from a development, operations and investment perspective, there are three key issues:
- The projects’ design objectives and ability to meet the requirements of the system, market, regulators, networks and debt/equity now and in the future (this is particularly relevant in an environment where the requirements are evolving).
- Whether the projects’ individual components (e.g. inverter, BESS) are sufficiently advanced to meet the above requirements and can be combined into a single integrated project.
- The ability to attract suitable capital to support the development and operation of the projects. (this relates to the risks associated with the projects and the projects’ ability to generate sufficient risk managed returns on the invested capital).
Lyon specifically designs its projects to address key investment issues that traditional standalone renewables face:
- Connection risk.
- Constraint risk.
- Causer Pays (power quality) risk.
- Marginal Loss Factor risk.
Traditional standalone solar will face escalating difficulties getting connected to the grid and hitting revenue projections. Curtailment and declining marginal loss factors are already undermining delivery to consumers and returns to investors.
Having the most flexible, fastest responding generators in Australia’s national electricity market will be particularly valuable with five minute settlement. Lyon’s partners understand this. They also understand that the transition from relatively few large synchronous (spinning) generators (coal, gas, hydro) to a very large number of inverter-based generators will not meet public and political expectations if too high a proportion of those inverter-based generators deliver uncontrolled, weather dependent power that exacerbates rather than solving grid security challenges.
Side by side comparison
Unlike traditional standalone renewables, Lyon’s truly integrated solar battery power stations:
- don’t need to contract with other parties to firm their energy
- don’t need to include dead weight capital items such as a synchronous condenser
- are not likely to be constrained off the network
- are less likely to be negatively affected by changes in MLFs
- do not need to pay ‘user pays’ costs
- do not add to network instability, and therefore meet increasingly rigorous connection requirements
- will not be stranded in the evolving market
Unlike pumped hydro and standalone grid connected BESS, Lyon’s truly integrated solar battery power stations do not charge using carbon-based fuels
|Characteristics||Lyon Solar Battery Power Stations||Traditional Standalone Solar and Wind||Diesel Generation||Gas Turbine||Pumped Storage|
|Speed to Market||Fast||Fast||Fast||Slow||Slow|
|Flexibility to act as a load||Yes||No||No||No||Yes|
|Fast response (500 milli sec)||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Fuel Supply Risk||Low||Low||High||High||Medium|
|Fuel Cost Risk||Low||Low||High||High||Medium|
|Supply Chain Risk||Low||Low||Medium||Medium||High|
|Low maintenance costs||Yes||Yes||No||No||Varies with dam safety|