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Aurora’s developer, 1414 Degrees, is an Australian tech company which has developed the molten silicon thermal energy storage tech to be used at the site and holds a patent for it, claiming it can be sized to provide tens to thousands of megawatt-hours of storage.
The company’s name come from the temperature (in centigrade) to which the silicon is heated to be able to store energy and output it at “maximum efficiency”. The first prototype was demonstrated in 2016 and the company floated an IPO in 2018 .
If Aurora does go ahead, it will be connected to Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM), where it can play for multiple merchant revenue sources, including frequency control ancillary services (FCAS), the NEM’s market for frequency regulation.
The first solar-plus-storage stage of its construction will provide renewable energy generation, plus high power frequency regulation services from its short-duration BESS, while the 1414 Degrees thermal energy storage added in stage 2 can provide long-duration, firmed energy which could aim for opportunities with higher electricity prices
In other words, the first stage of the project will target the lower hanging fruit of high revenues from the BESS, monetising the transmission grid connection it will share with the solar PV plant. Then it will target deeper market opportunities as they develop, and 1414 Degrees says it wants its subsidiary to manage and own transmission connections so that it can earn revenues from the multiple assets to be deployed.
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