DER, Grid Scale, Storage

Australian brewer eyes thermal energy storage system

by Andrew Spence, The Lead

South Australian energy storage company 1414 Degrees and Stone & Wood Brewing Company have agreed to undertake a feasibility study for the integration of 1414 Degrees’ electrically charged Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS-IND).

If it goes ahead, the 10MWh system will be installed at the brewer’s Murwillumbah brewery in northern New South Wales.

Stone & Wood is actively scoping innovative and more sustainable energy solutions and 1414 Degrees’ says its TESS-IND can provide reliable heat sourced from renewables on the grid.

The feasibility study will identify the potential to sequentially replace or supplement four existing gas boilers currently used to generate heat in the brewing process.

Headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia, the 1414 Degrees thermal energy storage system is unlike any other energy storage system in the world with its combination of low cost, flexibility of location, scalability, and sustainability.

The technology takes gas or electricity from any source and stores it as latent heat in silicon which melts at 1414°C. The energy from the latent heat can then be reclaimed and distributed as electricity and/or heat when required. A 10MWh storage unit is about the size of a 40-foot shipping container.

1414 Degrees Executive Chairman Dr Kevin Moriarty said Stone & Wood’s strong commitment to sustainability made the brewery an ideal commercial location for the technology to reduce emissions and access renewable energy.

“The Stone & Wood brewery is a financially attractive site for the 10MWh TESS-IND commercial pilot, particularly when compared to our other proposed customer plants, because the displaced LPG is more valuable, and the carbon-free heat from the TESS-IND solution would significantly reduce emissions,” he said.

Founded in Byron Bay in 2008, Stone & Wood is one of Australia’s largest independent craft brewers, producing more than 12 million liters of beer a year.

Stone & Wood Managing Director Ben Summons said he was looking forward to some positive findings from the feasibility study.

“We are constantly looking for ways to reduce our impact on the environment, including ways to continue our shift towards renewables,” he said.

“We are excited and optimistic about the potential of the new technology that 1414 Degrees can bring.”

Enova Community Energy Ltd, a community-owned energy retailer operating in regional New South Wales, introduced Stone & Wood to 1414 Degrees as an industrial heat customer under the memorandum of understanding between the parties to investigate jointly providing energy solutions to Enova and its industrial heat customers.

The joint venture with Enova would include firming renewable electricity supplied under long-term power purchase agreements, using 1414 Degrees’ TESS to ensure reliable electricity and heat solutions for sale to consumers.

1414 Degrees, previously known as Latent Heat Storage, began developing the technology a decade ago in partnership with Adelaide-based engineering consultancy ammjohn, and the University of Adelaide.

Approximately $30 million has been invested in 1414 Degrees since December 2016, when it became an unlisted public company – including $16.3 million that was raised in its IPO ahead of its ASX listing in September last year.

The company also this week announced it had partnered with integrated electrical and electronic technology provider Ampcontrol and renewable energy project developer BE Power to identify and develop SmartFarm projects using the company’s Thermal Energy Storage Solution.

1414 Degrees is also partnering with a farm developer to examine a range of joint project opportunities across Australia – including at a greenfield site in the Northern Adelaide Plains.

That project would see 1414 Degrees integrating its grid scale storage solution, TESS-GRID, into a protected cropping farm development by east coast horticulture company Nectar Farms.

Dr Moriarty said early feasibility stages of the northern Adelaide site were expected to progress in the coming weeks.

“The integration of our technologies would result in the first SmartFarm development of its kind globally, delivering another opportunity for our state to lead innovation, address energy costs and stability, and support job creation,” he said.

The site sits adjacent to a distribution substation at an SA Water site housing a generator embedded on the National Electricity Market, and the plan is to use the substation for electricity supply and generation from the TESS-GRID while providing heat to Nectar Farms.

“The Nectar Farms project presents a terrific opportunity for our technology to revolutionize the approach of Australian and international industry to energy storage and heat generation. Several other development sites in South Australia and Victoria will be assessed,” said Dr Moriarty.

“We have been modeling the revenues to be expected from operating the TESS-GRID and our smaller TESS- IND technology on the NEM. Scenarios for energy trading range from those based on contracts for supply from an aggregator to direct exposure to wholesale pricing – and combinations of both.”

1414 Degrees commissioned its first 10MWh electrically charged TESS-IND in late 2018, which was verified by international certification agency Bureau Veritas after demonstrating its initial prototype in 2016.