Queensland's biggest battery creates base for more renewables

06 February 2020

Queensland’s biggest battery is to be built in south-west Queensland, creating 30 jobs and marking the first stage of a major renewable project that could supply up to 400,000 homes with solar energy.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham joined AGL Energy and Vena Energy Australia today to announce the companies’ deal to build the massive 100 megawatt (MW) battery near Wandoan on the Western Downs.

“Queensland’s renewable energy revolution is steaming ahead and the next wave is battery storage,” he said.

“The climate-change deniers criticise renewable energy for not being available when the sun doesn’t shine and wind doesn’t blow: batteries are a game-changer.

“This battery is the first step in Vena Energy’s bigger plans to deliver up to 1000 megawatts of solar energy in Queensland.”

Vena Energy CEO Nitin Apte said the battery build would begin in July and take about a year to complete.

“The battery energy storage system is the first major milestone in our $650 million Wandoan South Project (external site), which has the potential to supply up to 400,000 Queensland households with solar energy,” he said.

“During construction of the battery, local employment and procurement opportunities will be available, with the labour force anticipated to be 30 strong.

“And once the battery is built, Vena Energy Australia plans to keep the momentum moving and aims to begin work on a solar farm at the same site in 2021.”

The lithium ion battery will be one of the biggest in Australia and will be able to take and deliver 100 megawatts of energy into and out of the National Energy Market, and store up to 150 megawatt hours of energy.

AGL CEO Brett Redman said the battery – capable of supplying up to 57,000 homes with energy – would complement the company’s renewable projects.

“This battery will support our massive Coopers Gap Wind Farm, which will be producing up to 453 megawatts of energy when all 123 wind turbines are up and running,” he said. 

“AGL will also be able to leverage excess solar generation in Queensland and provide capacity when the Coopers Gap Wind Farm and other renewable power sources are not generating.” 

Dr Lynham said Queensland already had three large-scale batteries operating: at Lakeland Solar Farm in Far North Queensland, at Kennedy Energy Park near Hughenden, and one at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Another in Townsville is expected to be operating next month. 

“Queensland has seen $4.7 billion worth of investment in renewable energy projects since December 2016, creating 4200 jobs,” he said.

“Queensland now has almost 5500 megawatts of renewable generation capacity.

“Batteries are next, and all of this investment demonstrates industry’s strong confidence in Queensland’s growing clean energy industry.”

“It’s all ensuring that we remain well on track to reach our target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.”

AGL and Vena Energy Australia have signed a 15-year agreement to deliver and operate the battery. As the user of the battery, AGL will have full operational dispatch rights, and as the owner of the battery, Vena Energy Australia will build and maintain the asset. 




Source:  Queensland Government - www.statements.qld.gov.au

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