Renewable energy developer Maoneng has proposed an energy hub in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) that would include a 550MW solar farm and 400MW/1,600MWh battery storage system.
The company plans to lodge an application for the Merriwa Energy Centre with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. The company said it expects the project to be completed in 2025 and will replace the 550MW Liddell coal-fired power plant operating nearby.
The proposed solar farm will cover 780 hectares and include the installation of 1.3 million photovoltaic solar panels and a 400MW/1,600MWh battery storage system. The project will take 18 months to complete, and the battery storage system deployed will be larger than the 300MW/450MWh Victorian Big Battery battery storage system, the largest existing battery storage system in Australia, which will come online in December 2021. Four times.
The Maoneng project will require the construction of a new substation connected directly to Australia's National Electricity Market (NEM) via an existing 500kV transmission line near TransGrid. The company said the project, located near the town of Meriva in the NSW Hunter Region, was designed to meet the regional energy supply and grid stability needs of Australia's National Electricity Market (NEM).
Maoneng said on its website that the project has completed the grid research and planning stage and entered the construction bidding process, looking for contractors to carry out the construction.
Morris Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Maoneng, commented: "As NSW becomes more accessible to clean energy, this project will support the NSW Government's large-scale solar and battery storage systems Strategy. We chose this site deliberately because of its connection to the existing grid, making efficient use of locally operating infrastructure.”
The company also recently received approval to develop a 240MW/480MWh battery energy storage system in Victoria.
Australia currently has around 600MW of battery storage systems, said Ben Cerini, analyst at management consultancy market consultancy Cornwall Insight Australia. Another research firm, Sunwiz, said in its "2022 Battery Market Report" that Australia's commercial and industrial (CYI) and grid-connected battery storage systems under construction have a storage capacity of just over 1GWh.