Australia in planning for multiple massive battery projects

The Hornsdale Power Reserve project in South Australia
The Hornsdale Power Reserve project in South Australia

James Thornhill,  Bloomberg

France’s Neoen SA has outlined plans to build a giant renewables complex in South Australia, including battery storage with up to nine times more capacity than the Tesla Inc. design at its nearby Hornsdale plant, which is billed as the world’s largest lithium-ion battery.

The Goyder South project will include up to 1,200 megawatts of wind generation, 600 MW of solar and 900 MW of battery storage, with an initial investment of up to A$1 billion ($687 million), Neoen said in a statement Wednesday. The company plans to draw on its experience with the Hornsdale Power Reserve, which it said had saved consumers over A$40 million since its 2017 start by bolstering grid stability.

The project, slated to begin construction in 2021, is expected to utilize a planned electricity interconnector between South Australia and the eastern state of New South Wales.

That transmission line “will provide a freeway for renewable energy from South Australia to the eastern seaboard, enabling huge renewables projects such as Goyder South to turn South Australia into an energy powerhouse,” said the state’s Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

A raft of big battery projects are in development in Australia as energy planners focus on firming up the country’s expanding wind and solar capacity. Another French company, Total Eren SA, is looking to build a 270 MW storage system for its Kiamal solar farm in Victoria, while EPS Energy is also looking to tap into the proposed SA-NSW interconnector with a 280 MW solar farm and 140 MW battery at Robertstown.

Energy Storage is a key component of a clean energy future. That’s why it’s such an important educational topic at POWERGEN International and DISTRIBUTECH International.


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