Another giant grid-scale battery is under planning in Australia as the global roll out of super-sized energy storage projects increases.
The project in New South Wales-state, which will be three times larger than the current No. 1 battery in California, US, aims to store energy for the grid as Australia raises its share of renewable power.
Renewable energy fund CEP.Energy Pty plans to begin construction of the 1,200-megawatt (1.2 Gigawatt) unit early in 2022, and bring the battery online the following year, the firm said in a statement.
Big batteries “will play a major role in filling the gaps left by the gradual retirement of coal and gas-fired generation assets,” Chairman Morris Iemma said in the statement. The project will support the Hunter Valley region’s longer-term shift from its role as a coal-mining hub, he said.
Companies are seeking to build bigger and bigger batteries to back up Australia’s vast potential for wind and solar generation, with experts predicting that around 800 megawatts of grid-scale projects will reach financial close this year, almost double the total capacity financed in the country to date.
The nation has been at the forefront of big battery technology since the billionaire owner of electric carmaker Tesla, Elon Musk, successfully wagered in 2017 that he could get a 100-megawatt system, the largest at the time, up and running within 100 days in South Australia.
Australia’s Origin Energy said recently that it was mulling a 700-megawatt system in New South Wales, while France’s renewable energy company Neoen is considering plans for a 500-megawatt battery in New South Wales and a 300-megawatt facility in Victoria.
Energy company Vistra Corp.’s Moss Landing project in the US is currently the biggest storage battery and is scheduled to be expanded to become a 400-megawatt system soon.