Neoen nails planning approval for 4 GWh Collie battery


Western Australia’s (WA) Regional Joint Development Assessment Panel and the Shire of Collie Council have approved Neoen’s plan to develop a stand-alone 1 GW /4 GWh battery energy storage system (BESS) near the coal town of Collie in the state’s southwest.

Neon said the project will include five individual 200 MW/800 MWh battery compounds with a total combined output of 1,000 MW/4,000 MWh. The project will be constructed in 200 MW/800 MWh stages “to meet the progressive increase in demand for energy storage.”

Construction of the first stage of the project is expected to commence in 2023 with Neoen predicting the facility will be operational “by or before 2025.”

Once completed, the first 200 MW/800 MWh stage of the Collie Battery will have the theoretical capacity to service the average energy needs of 260,000 households for an hour and will also stand ready to pump power into the grid in the event of a shortfall from other electricity generators, providing vital system security for WA’s main electricity network, the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

“There is significant potential for the project to address intermittencies in energy supply due to the ability of utility-scale battery facilities to respond quickly to fluctuations in the grid,” the company said. “The project will also support the state’s objectives to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”

The battery is to be built on a 31-hectare site about 12 kilometres northeast of Collie, approximately 215km southeast of Perth, and will connect into the transmission network via the nearby Shotts Terminal substation.

Neoen said the facility will typically charge during the day while there is excess energy generation and discharge during peak periods, helping to maintain a secure and reliable energy supply when WA ends its reliance on coal-fired power stations.

“With the retirement of the Muja and Collie power stations by 2030, this project will provide vital system security,” the company said. “The aim is to provide short-duration storage in the peak times to ease pressure on the grid.

“The battery will be able to provide grid stability and other grid services which will also encourage more integration of more renewable energy into the network.”

Neoen’s 300MW/450MWh Victoria Big Battery began operations in December 2021.

Image: Energy Victoria

Neoen has more than 2.5 GW of renewable assets in operation or under construction in Australia, representing more than $3 billion in investment. The company intends to reach 5 GW in Australia by 2025.

Included among its portfolio is the now 150 MW/194 MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, the world’s first big battery.

It also built the 300 MW/450 MWh Victorian Big Battery which came online in December 2021, and is also developing several other big batteries in Australia, including the 100 MW/200 MWh Capital battery outside Canberra, a 300 MW/800 MWh battery near Blyth in South Australia, and a 500 MW/1000 MWh battery to be built near Wallerawang west of Sydney. It has also submitted a development application for a of 200 MW/400 MWh battery facility to be built near Chittering in WA.

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