Race for world’s largest battery gets new contender in Australia

Two of the world’s largest batteries, worth a combined $1 billion, are to be built across sites in New South Wales in an effort to reduce power grid strains and offer support for renewable energy production.

Origin Energy hopes to develop a massive 700-megawatt battery at Eraring, Australia’s largest coal-fired power station, with the ability to supply power into the grid for up to four hours. The battery will be developed in three phases, with completion of the initial stage expected by late 2022. The battery is the largest under consideration in Australia and will require sign-off from Origin’s Board of Directors.

“The deployment of this battery at Eraring will support Origin’s orderly transition away from coal-fired generation by 2032, while complementing the policy objectives of the NSW energy road map,” said Greg Jarvis, Origin’s executive general manager for energy supply and operations.

“We recognise we have an important role to play in positioning Origin’s electricity generation portfolio to support Australia’s rapid transition to renewables.”

“A large-scale battery at Eraring will help us better support renewable energy and maintain reliable supply for customers, by having long-duration storage ready to dispatch into the grid at times when renewable sources are not available,” Mr Jarvis adds.

French energy company, Neoen, is also preparing a 500-megawatt battery at the now decommissioned Energy Australia coal station in Wallerawang. The company will spend up to $400 million on the new facility, with a production capacity of 500 megawatts and up to 1000 megawatt-hours.

“The large-scale battery system would reduce the possibility of load-shedding and blackouts even in the state, especially considering the multiple existing coal-fired power plants that are planned to retire in the next decade,” Neoen reported in its planning documents.

So far, Neoen has already committed $3 billion of investment on 1600MW of renewable generation in Australia and plans to double spending by 2022.

If completed, the two batteries would rank as the largest storage devices in the world, over four times larger than the Tesla battery located in South Australia.

Source: The Advertiser | Origin and Neoen plan $1bn batteries for NSW power plants

18 January 2021 

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