• MARK’S BIG BATTERY – Harnessing Excess Solar Energy for WA

    Industry Insights by ECi Executive
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MARK’S BIG BATTERY – Harnessing Excess Solar Energy for WA

The Western Australian Government has awarded a $155 million contract to New Horizons Ahead (NHOA) Australia to deliver a new large-scale battery energy storage system (BESS). 

The 200MWh BESS is set to become the state’s largest lithium-ion battery, with a capacity to power up to 160,000 homes for two hours. 

Consequently, NHOA has awarded a $50 million contract to local contractor GenusPlus Group to undertake engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of the BESS. 

“We look forward to working collaboratively with NHOA as we expand our capability in the growing renewable energy sector with this significant project. We believe that our transmission and distribution market position and capability can be leveraged to become a leader in the construction and integration of renewables,”GenusPlus Group Managing Director David Riches said.

Major construction on the project is scheduled to begin in November 2021. 

The big battery is going to be built at the decommissioned Kwinana Power Station. The project site is larger than 20 tennis courts standing side by side and will have enough space for a future expansion when needed. 

“WA’s biggest battery will support more renewable energy technologies joining the grid and help increase power stability. NHOA is one of the world’s top utility-scale energy storage organisations, having installed batteries and microgrids in 26 countries. Congratulations to NHOA on winning this contract and their subcontractor, Belmont business GenusPlus Group, who will require up to 100 workers for the project.” Energy Minister Bill Johnston said.

Once operational, it will be able to store excess rooftop solar energy at daytime when demand is the lowest and rapidly discharge electricity in the afternoon and evening peak periods. 

The BESS will “help stabilise the electricity system by absorbing fluctuations caused by the increasing number of renewables on the grid”. 

The number of rooftop solar panels utilised within the state is anticipated to increase to 50 per cent by 2030. Currently, one in three households have rooftop solar panels. 

State-owned energy generator and retailer Synergy will be operating the 200MWh / 100MW battery energy storage system, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2022. 

This project is jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments, each contributing $15 million and $140 million respectively. 

“My Government has committed $140 million to build Western Australia’s biggest battery to support the main electricity grid, which serves more than 1.1 million customers. This battery is crucial to WA’s sustainable energy future and a key part of the Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap. There is a rapid energy transformation happening and energy storage systems such as this battery will play a key role in providing better energy outcomes for Western Australian households and businesses.” Premier Mark McGowan said. 

Source: Government of Western Australia – Media StatementsPV Magazine AustraliaGenusPlus GroupEnergy Storage News ; Felix

Monica Gameng   |   October 24, 2021

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