Darling Downs to be supercharged in big battery first

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement The Honourable Mick de Brenni

The Palaszczuk Government is supercharging the Darling Downs with connection of the state’s largest battery to the transmission network nearing completion at Wandoan.

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the government-owned Powerlink was working closely with Vena Energy to support their Wandoan South Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project.

“As part of our economic recovery plan, the Palaszczuk Government is delivering cheaper, cleaner and reliable energy for Queenslanders,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Large-scale battery storage completely changes the game for how our electricity system operates.

“The $120 million Wandoan BESS project is the first to connect a large-scale battery directly to the state’s grid, supporting 23 jobs while delivering cleaner, cheaper and reliable energy back to Queenslanders even when the sun isn’t shining.

“The battery will have the capacity to power up to 57,000 homes every year, and store 150mWh of energy, so it’s around 25 times the capacity of the largest battery currently operating in Queensland.

“The Palaszczuk Government is moving quickly to invest in storage solutions that support the continued uptake of renewables, so more Queenslanders can enjoy the savings.

“And it’s our publicly-owned energy assets at the forefront of this technology as we charge towards Queensland’s renewable energy target.”

Powerlink Chief Executive Paul Simshauser said project works are expected to be completed in the coming months.

“A kilometre of underground transmission cable is being installed to safely and efficiently transfer stored battery power into the grid from the existing Wandoan South Substation,” Mr Simshauser said.

“Works at the substation are being completed over various stages to upgrade an existing substation bay so we can accommodate the new battery connection.

“The connection works also involve highly specialised construction methods, so it’s a game-changing project on all fronts for us.”

In a large-scale storage blitz, publicly-owned Stanwell is also progressing plans for a 150 mega-watt battery at Tarong Power Station.

Stanwell acting CEO Adam Aspinall said a feasibility study found there were commercial opportunities in locating a large-scale energy storage system in southern Queensland.

“As a business, we are investigating a range of future energy solutions to ensure we are in the best position possible to respond to changing market conditions,” he said.

“By locating battery storage at Tarong Power Station, we can capitalise on existing land and connection infrastructure, support the investment in renewables within the region and help maintain system security and reliability.

“Stanwell’s proposal will create 80 construction jobs and 6 operational jobs over the 20-year project phase.”

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