The Western Australian Government has released a Request for Information process for the construction and commissioning of a battery to strengthen the state’s power system.
The proposed 100MW battery is expected to become Australia’s 2nd largest battery after South Australia’s Hornsdale Power Reserve.
The battery will have the capacity to power up to 160,000 homes for two hours and will be as big as 20 side-by-side tennis courts.
Synergy will operate the battery which will be housed at their decommissioned Kwinana Power Station.
The big battery will support the integration of more renewable energy and improve grid security by charging during the day when the sun is shining and then discharging that energy when it’s needed most in the afternoons and evenings.
Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan commented that his government is committed to creating new jobs and embracing technological innovations like this battery that will shape Western Australia’s power supply.
“It’s important we support the rapid electricity transformation that’s happening right now, and energy storage systems, like this big battery, have a crucial role to play in providing better energy and job outcomes for the WA community.
“This project will set WA up for the long haul and ensure Western Australia continues to recover from COVID-19, stronger than ever.”
Western Australia’s energy sector is currently undergoing a rapid transformation with significant uptake in large-scale renewables and rooftop solar panels.
Currently one in three Western Australia households have rooftop solar panels, and by 2030 this number is expected to rise by 50 per cent.
Due to the increased pressure on Western Australia’s electricity system, inaction could result in sizeable blackouts in the coming years.
Western Australia Energy Minister, Bill Johnston showed support for the project saying, “this big battery will help address the ‘duck curve’ by absorbing surplus energy in the middle of the day, when solar generation is high, and discharging energy during peak times.
“Battery storage is proving to be a versatile solution to network challenges; this big battery will complement Western Power’s roll-out of community batteries, which are providing additional support and improved power quality to local homes and businesses.”
The project has currently secured $15 million in federal funding with Western Australia’s Energy Ministers in discussions with the Federal Government about further funding.
A financial decision on the battery is expected by the end of the year and if successful, could see up to 100 jobs for the Kwinana region.
If all goes to schedule, a contract could be awarded by May 2021, with the battery operational by September 2022.
Source: Media Statement
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