Bohle Plains on the outskirts of Townsville welcomed the arrival of the main unit and kiosk of the 4 MW/8 MWh Tesla battery it has been hotly anticipating since early 2019. The Tesla delivery means the community-scale battery is almost ready to receive charge from excess solar power fed into the grid during the day and provide valuable back-up power supply to the local community.
Bohle Plains has been described by the Queensland government as “the solar hotspot of Townsville,” and it is soon to put that spot to even more good use. The battery system will form part of a 135 MW Virtual Power Plant (VPP), owned and managed by Yurika, an arm of publicly-owned Energy Queensland. The 135 MW of excess solar is provided by ten suppliers around Queensland.
“With about 21,000 residential rooftop solar systems in Townsville, battery storage technology will help ensure power quality and reliability in our local network,” said Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper. “The battery will also take the pressure off our substations and other power assets and will explore how such technology may allow Ergon to push back spending on some network infrastructure.”
Queensland is a world leader in rooftop solar installation, and the state is eager to secure its solar development with battery storage technology. Acting Energy Minister Mark Ryan called this “the next wave of Queensland’s renewable energy revolution.”
Only last month, the University of Queensland (UQ) switched on its own Tesla Powerpack, which will deliver 2MWh of energy storage as part of UQ’s push to meet its ambitious renewable energy targets.
“Batteries are now being installed at a rate of 300 per month,” said Ryan. “It’s all ensuring that we remain on target to reach our target of 50% renewable energy by 2030.”
Yurika expects the community-battery to be connected to the grid by the end of the summer. “Batteries are going to play a big part in helping with the reliability of electricity networks with so much renewable energy being brought on-line right across Australia,” said Yurika Executive General Manager Charles Rattray.