Queensland charges ahead with big battery rollout


The Queensland government unveiled the new 4 MW/8 MWh Tanby Battery Energy Storage System south of Yeppoon on Monday, declaring it will support the continued uptake of renewables with the state targeting 50% renewable energy by 2030.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the grid-connected battery is an important and innovative addition to the electricity grid in Central Queensland and would assist in gaining the maximum advantage from Queensland’s abundant rooftop solar systems.

“We know there’s been a huge uptake in rooftop solar energy in Yeppoon and Rockhampton and this investment will drive even more,” he said.

“It means renewable energy made during Central Queensland’s many sunny days can be stored to use during peak demand periods in the evening.

“It will help deliver cheaper, cleaner energy for homes and businesses, and capacity for even more renewables in Central Queensland.”

Queensland has one of the highest rates of household rooftop solar installations in Australia, with one in three homes using solar. Collectively, the energy produced by Queensland rooftops is already the largest renewable generator in the state and renewables make up approximately 20% of Queensland’s energy mix. But that figure will need to more than double over the next decade if the state is to achieve it 50% renewable energy target by 2030.

Energy Queensland CEO Rod Duke said the Tanby battery is among an initial six large-scale batteries to be rolled out as part of the utility’s Local Network Battery Plan announced following the explosion of the Callide coal generator last year.

The strategy will eventually see at least 15 network-connected batteries installed across the state, allowing for better management of the increasing levels of renewable energy being generated.

“Having more storage capacity will enable us to move electricity in both space and time and that will lead to greater network stability and reliability for customers,” he said.

Duke said the initial six 4 MW/8 MWh batteries are now largely completed.

“We now have 8 MWh batteries at Bohle Plains and Black River near Townsville, Kleinton near Toowoomba, Bargara near Bundaberg, Tanby near Rockhampton, and at Torquay near Hervey Bay,” he said. “We are close to having all of these batteries constructed, commissioned and operating on the network.”

Duke said the remaining nine batteries will be spread across major centres in regional Queensland near communities that have significant rooftop solar generation “because we know that’s where they will have the greatest overall benefit”.

“The network of the future will not only need to move electricity from where it is generated to where it’s used, but also from the time it is made to when it’s consumed,” he said. “Having more storage capacity will lead to greater network stability and reliability for customers.”

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