The Western Australian Government has awarded a $155 million contract to deliver what will be the state’s biggest lithium-ion battery to the Australian arm of New Horizons Ahead (NHOA), the rebranded energy storage and e-mobility solutions company formerly known as Engie EPS.
The proposed big battery, which will connect to the state’s main grid, known as the South-West Interconnected System (SWIS), will have the capacity to power the equivalent of 160,000 homes for two hours.
NHOA said in a company statement the building and construction phase of the project will commence in November with the battery expected to be operational by the end of 2022.
NHOA has already awarded a $50 million contract to Perth-based contractor GenusPlus Group for the engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) and commissioning of the big battery.
The battery will be managed by Synergy, Western Australia’s state-owned energy generator and retailer and is intended to support the integration of more renewable energy into the grid, smooth fluctuations in demand and renewable-energy supply and substantially contribute to grid security and stability.
One in three WA households already have rooftop solar panels and this is expected to rise to 50% by 2030 and Synergy said the battery will be able to store excess solar energy during the day, when demand is low, and discharge electricity rapidly during the afternoon and evening peak, providing additional security and stability to WA’s power system.
“Increasing levels of large-scale and rooftop intermittent renewable generation has led the rapid transformation of the energy sector, presenting a range of opportunities related to how electricity is produced, managed and consumed,” the company said.
“The battery project will enable Synergy to optimise the use of its existing generation assets and provide network and system services to increase system security, providing a more sustainable, reliable and effective power supply to the wider region.”
WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston said the Kwinana battery forms part of the state government’s broader Energy Transformation Strategy, which incorporates not only the distributed energy resource work stream, but whole-of-system planning and the development of foundational regulatory frameworks that will improve access to the SWIS for renewable energy resources and supporting technologies.
“WA’s biggest battery will support more renewable energy technologies joining the grid and help increase power stability,” he said.
Johnston labelled NHOA, which was launched after the majority acquisition of Engie EPS by Taiwan Cement Corporation (TCC) earlier this year, as of one of the world’s top utility-scale energy storage organisations, saying it has installed batteries and microgrids in 26 countries.
WA Premier Mark McGowan said the state government has committed $140 million towards the big battery project, with the Commonwealth Government contributing $15 million.
“This battery is crucial to WA’s sustainable energy future and a key part of the Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap,” McGowan said.
“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.”
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