The Big Banana. The Big Pineapple. The Big Prawn. Australia has quite a unique obsession with big things. And now we can add another big thing to the list…
The Big Battery.
Yep, Big Batteries are a thing – and you better get used to them! As Australia transitions towards net zero emissions by 2050, battery storage will be key. And if you want to power hundreds of thousands of homes in times of high demand, you need to think BIG.
Large-scale battery storage will support the uptake of more renewables, and help provide long-term system stability of Australia’s energy grid by charging and discharging rapidly, smoothing the supply volatility caused by solar generation.
Already Australia has built some beauties, with loads more under construction and even more in the pipeline. Let’s take a little sneak peek into the latest powerplays across the country.
WA’s first large-scale battery storage project is currently under construction at Synergy’s Kwinana Power Station. At 200MWh and the size of 14 tennis courts, the $3.8 billion lithium-ion iron phosphate beast is the state’s biggest battery.
Once operational at the end of 2022, the big battery will have the capacity to power 160,000 homes for up to two hours. By storing excess energy from rooftop solar systems in homes all over the state, it can be discharged during the late afternoon and evening when it is most needed.
…AND THE REST
Here are some of the best Big Battery projects either completed or underway in the eastern states.
The Hornsdale Big Battery
Let’s kick off with the world’s first big battery. Located in Hornsdale SA, this Tesla lithium ion hit the scene in 2017 with a mission to slash South Australia’s energy costs by more than $150 million in its first two years. And though others have since overtaken it, the powerplant expanded to 194MWh in 2020 and continues to deliver world-leading battery storage to stabilise the state’s electricity grid, encourage uptake of more renewable energy, and decrease load-shedding.
The Victorian Big Battery
This enormous energiser in Geelong is one of the largest batteries in the world. With a 450MWh Tesla Megapack grid-scale battery that stores enough energy to power over 250,000 homes for two hours, it will deliver Victorians a source of reliable, affordable power as the state chases its renewable energy target of 50% by 2030.
Torrens Island Big Battery
South Australia is expecting a new arrival that will soon be the state’s biggest big battery (sorry Hornsdale!). Due for completion in 2023, the $180 million, 250MWh volt hog will feature Wartsila SMA technology and deliver one hour of storage in its first stage (likely to be expanded to four hours of storage in the future), acting as a “grid forming battery inverter” to deliver some of the critical services needed as gas generators exit the grid.
Shoutout to the ACT’s Capital Battery. Sure, it’s not the biggest. But its stand-alone battery uses Doosan technology capable of storing up to 200MWh of energy with up to two hours of reserve power. Set for completion in 2023, this pocket rocket is set to boost ACT’s grid by dispatching energy during peak demand.
THE BEST IS YET TO COME
One day, these projects will be looked at as trailblazers, providing the valuable learnings that allowed us to innovate even bigger and better large-scale battery storage projects in the future.
There are dozens of projects either announced or proposed across the country – and that’s good news for Australia. As rooftop solar system uptake rises, the energy storage abilities of Big Batteries are set to play a crucial role over the next 10 years in securing reliable power supply to main electricity grids everywhere.
Want to play your role in the renewable revolution? Talk to Solar My Home WA to find out how – contact (08) 6209 7709 or email email@example.com