Green light for new big batteries in Australia


From pv magazine Australia

Sydney-based battery developer Firm Power has been granted development approval for the proposed Muswellbrook Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), a 150 MW/300 MWh standalone battery in New South Wales.

The project is to be built in the designated Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone (REZ), on land owned and managed by New South Wales network operator Ausgrid. The plan aims to connect to the grid via the existing Ausgrid Muswellbrook substation.

The New South Wales government has also given the green light to Melbourne-based developer ACEnergy to build the planned Aspley BESS about 60 kilometers south of Dubbo in the coordinated Central-West Orana REZ. The project involves the development of a standalone battery with a capacity of up to 120 MW/240 MWh, and a new 132 kV transmission line which would connect to the existing transmission line to the east of the project site.

ACEnergy expects to reach financial close on the project early next year, with the state government saying both batteries are expected to be operational towards the end of 2025. New South Wales Energy Minister Penny Sharpe said the batteries will help balance the grid and support the performance and future uptake of renewable energy in the state.

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“Giving these batteries the green light will play a critical role in securing reliable, renewable energy across [New South Wales],” she said. “The transformation of our energy system needs to occur as soon as possible. Batteries are not only critical to supporting our state’s transition to net zero, they will assist us to get there sooner.”

The state government’s Renewable Energy Roadmap calls for at least 12 GW of renewable energy generation and 2 GW of energy storage by 2030 to replace the state’s ageing coal-fired power generators.

Sharpe said there are currently 27 large-scale renewable energy, transmission lines and storage projects under assessment in the New South Wales planning system. If approved, they would provide 9 GW of renewable energy and 5.5 MW of firming storage.

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