Energy Australia plans to deploy 500MW battery storage project in New South Wales, Australia

Australia's major energy developer and power generation retailer Energy Australia has preliminary plans to build a 500MW battery storage system in its New South Wales state.

The company said a few days ago that it was studying the feasibility of deploying the battery storage system at the 1,400MW Mount Piper coal-fired power plant in its portfolio.

Energy Australia is the operator of a 50MWh battery storage system to be deployed with the 60MW Gannawarra solar farm in Victoria, using Tesla Powerpacks, deployed by Edify Energy and Wirsol.

October 27, 2022

As with similar projects deployed in Australia and around the world, deploying battery storage systems in situ or close to existing power generation assets allows the use of existing electrical infrastructure such as substations and power lines, which can reduce some construction and commissioning cost.

Energy Australia said it would continue to conduct further assessments and consultations with the local community, and it would seek approval for plans for the Mount Piper battery storage system through the NSW planning process.

The company expects that if planning for the project is successfully approved, it could be operational by the end of 2026. In a press release, Energy Australia did not specify what the storage capacity of the energy storage system would be.

Energy Australia, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based CLP Power Ltd, owns a portfolio of energy assets including a natural gas peaker and coal-fired power plant and a 66MW wind farm, as well as two large batteries operating in Australia Energy Storage Systems - Gannawarra and Ballarat.

Both battery storage projects were deployed in Victoria in 2018, according to industry media reports. The first years of operation of these two battery storage systems have provided important data and evidence on how battery storage systems can successfully participate in Australia's National Electricity Market (NEM).

Other projects the company has developed include a 350MW/1400MWh battery storage project in Latrobe Valley, Victoria. Like the Mount Piper battery storage system, Energy Australia has chosen to build a battery storage system called Wooreen Energy Storage on the site of its natural gas power plant.

Energy Australia unveiled plans to deploy the battery storage system in 2021, noting that the project, when integrated into the local grid, will alleviate capacity shortages following the retirement of the Yallourn coal-fired power plant. The Yallourn coal-fired power plant has an installed capacity of 1400MW. Not only is Energy Australia aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050, but decommissioning the Yallourn coal-fired power plant could save hundreds of millions of dollars in maintenance and operating costs, thus providing an even bigger incentive for its shutdown.

A few months ago, the NSW government's Department of Planning and Environment approved the deployment of 500MW/1000MWh of battery storage by developer Greenspot at the Wallerang Power Plant (another of Energy Australia's coal-fired power plants, which was decommissioned in 2014). system.

Daniel Nugent, head of portfolio development at Energy Australia, said of the plans for the Mount Piper storage deployment: "As coal power plants are phased out and more renewables enter the energy system, this project will support NSW's energy future. Safety.

Battery storage will be a welcome addition to NSW's growing list of large-scale clean energy and energy storage projects. If approved, it would also boost the economy of Australia's central and western regions and help transform it into a renewable energy hub. "

As recently reported by industry media, NSW has set a target of deploying 12GW of renewable power generation and 2GW of energy storage by 2030, launching a biennial tender in August this year.

Five large Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) are under development in NSW, attracting strong interest from developers and investors.

Local transmission operator Transgrid said in July that research showed grid-scale battery storage was the preferred option to ensure reliable power supply in the NSW region, stressing that doing so could generate billions of dollars.

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