Private investment fund Quinbrook Infrastructure has announced it will deploy a 2,000 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) backed by large-scale wind and solar PV generation as part of plans to build one of the largest ‘green data’ storage facilities in the Southern Hemisphere.
The $2.5 billion Supernode project will be developed in stages on a 30-hectare site in the northern Brisbane suburb of Brendale. The site is adjacent to the South Pine substation, the central node of Queensland’s electricity grid where more than 80% of all power capacity located in the state transmits to. The site will also have direct connections to an international subsea data communications network.
Quinbrook co-founder and managing partner David Scaysbrook said the site provides an “unrivalled” location for power supply resilience, offering up to 800 MW of capacity with three separate high-voltage connections.
“It also offers ample scope for powering our large-scale batteries with locally produced solar, wind and hydro sourced renewables which will also power the data centre campus as it grows,” he said.
Quinbrook plans to procure, self-develop and construct the renewables supply capacity needed by Supernode customers as their energy demands grow. It is anticipated Quinbrook will source wind power from third-party projects under development and will build new solar farms itself.
The Supernode project is likely to be built in four stages, with Quinbrook targeting financial close on the first phase by the end of June 2023. Progress on the battery storage infrastructure is more advanced with Quinbrook having already lodged applications to enable construction to commence in mid-2023.
Quinbrook said the battery energy storage system would provide benefits beyond the Supernode precinct, offering critical back-up for the Queensland power system.
The BESS will add valuable dispatchable supply services to the grid to firm additional renewables capacity and put downward pressure on power prices while also reducing the risk of power outages for all Queenslanders, the company said.
Quinbrook has already obtained both Foreign Investment Review Board and local planning permissions from Moreton Bay Regional Council for the 800 MW capacity campus will host third-party data centre operations. It has has already commenced the marketing of the precinct to prospective data centre operators, with CBRE appointed to manage engagement.
The Supernode BESS adds to several milestone large-scale battery projects Quinbrook is currently constructing and developing in the United States and United Kingdom, including the $2 billion Gemini solar and storage project, which recently closed the largest ever financing for a single US renewables project.
“Brendale follows close on the heels of our recent investment in Texas creating a similar 800 MW green data centre campus at Temple, near Austin, the initial phase of which became operational last month,” Scaysbrook said.
The Brendale battery is the most recent in a flurry of energy storage projects announced in Queensland.
Government-owned energy generator Stanwell last week announced plans to a build a massive 1.45 GW/2.9 GWh battery storage system near its coal-fired power station in Central Queensland while fellow state-owned utility CS Energy has outlined plans to build a 200 MW/400 MWh battery at Greenbank in Brisbane’s outer southern suburbs. Those batteries are among 13 large-scale battery systems outlined by the Queensland government in its most recent state budget.
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