WA utility unveils plans for 800 MWh big battery
As Synergy prepares to switch on its first big battery, the state-owned utility has revealed it plans to build a new 200 MW/800 MWh battery energy storage system at Kwinana to support the state’s main grid and enable the uptake of more renewables in Western Australia.
Western Australian (WA) government-owned energy generator and retailer Synergy plans to build a 200 MW/800 MWh battery energy storage system alongside a 100 MW/200 MWh big battery which is currently being constructed at the site of the decommissioned Kwinana power station south of Perth.
Synergy has submitted a development application to the Joint Development Assessment Panel for an estimated $450 million (USD 300 million) grid-scale battery to be built alongside the 100 MW/200 MWh Kwinana Big Battery which is expected to commence operations next month.
It was originally anticipated the battery would be operational by September 2022 but the project has been delayed due to issues associated with global supply chain issues.
Once completed, the Kwinana Big Battery will connect to the South-West Interconnected System (SWIS), the state’s main grid, and will have the capacity to power the equivalent of 160,000 homes for two hours.
“Batteries are flexible, they provide grid stability and support the integration of more renewable energy into the network,” Synergy Chief Executive Officer David Fyfe said.
Fyfe said the Kwinana Big Battery and the proposed second energy storage systems are part of the utility’s commitment to deploy 1,100 MW of new large-scale storage by the end of the decade to ensure supply stability as the continued uptake of rooftop solar and renewables forces changes in the energy system.
WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston has also backed the introduction of large-scale energy storage to support the integration of more renewable energy into the grid, saying it will smooth fluctuations in demand and renewable energy supply and substantially contribute to grid security and stability.
“Increasing energy storage over the next decade will be crucial to addressing system security risks, such as high levels of rooftop solar generation, and ensuring reliable power supply to Western Australia’s main electricity grid,” he said.
Synergy said construction of the second big battery would begin as soon as possible after planning approval is received and the utility is already engaging potential suppliers and securing long lead items for the project.
The proposed Synergy big battery is one of a number of energy storage projects being pursued in WA.
The Australian arm of French renewable energy developer Neoen has filed planning documents to develop a 1 GW/4 GWh battery near the coal town of Collie in WA’s southwest and a 200 MW/400 MWh battery at Muchea northeast of Perth.
Victoria-based developer Sunshot Energy is also exploring large-scale energy storage, floating the potential for a 600-800 MWh battery to be built as part of a proposed green hydrogen industrial hub near Collie.