Construction begins on 2 GWh of storage in Australia

The Western Australian government-owned utility Synergy has started building its third large-scale battery on the grid as the state government aims to increase energy storage capacity to facilitate the shift from coal-fired power generation to renewable sources.

Construction has commenced on the 500 MW/2,000 MWh Collie battery energy storage system in Western Australia’s (WA) southwest as the state progresses towards achieving emissions-free power generation by 2030.

Synergy has announced that the four-hour battery energy storage system is expected to be completed before the end of 2025, and it will play a crucial role in preparing the state’s power grid for the retirement of coal-fired power stations by enhancing system security and supporting the increased use of renewable energy in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

According to Western Australian Energy Minister Reece Whitby, the battery will be utilized to store excess energy generated by rooftop PV systems during sunny periods and release it during peak electricity demand, typically in the evening.

“This is an exciting milestone for Western Australia’s decarbonization journey,” he said. “When complete, this battery will support reliability and more renewable energy on WA’s main electricity grid.”

Synergy is constructing the Collie big battery with a budget of AUD 1.6 billion ($1.05 billion), located about 200 kilometers southwest of Perth, the state capital.

It is situated just north of the current coal-fired Collie Power Station, which is scheduled for retirement by 2027. The facility will be connected to the SWIS through Western Power’s existing 330 kV Schotts Terminal.

Cardinal Contractors, a company specializing in earthworks based in Collie, has been given the contract to carry out site preparation earthworks for the battery facility.

It is anticipated that up to 500 jobs will be created at the peak of construction.Synergy is set to establish its third large-scale battery energy storage system with plans to build 3 GWh of storage by 2025.

The first stage of the Kwinana Battery Energy Storage System, with a capacity of 100 MW/200 MWh, has been supplying power to the SWIS since its completion in May 2023.

Construction is ongoing for the second stage of the facility, which will have a capacity of 200 MW/800 MWh and is expected to be finished by late 2024.

The WA government has projected a need for approximately 50 GW of new renewable electricity and storage infrastructure to meet growing demand over the next two decades.

In addition to Synergy’s project, another grid-scale energy storage system is being developed in Collie by French renewables company Neoen, with tohe first stage of their planned 1 GW/4 GWh battery expected to be operational by 2025 or earlier.

Source Western Australian government

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