Hong Kong-owned electricity gen-tailer EnergyAustralia confirmed it has received planning approval from the Victorian government for construction of a 350 MW/1.4 GWh battery energy storage system at Hazelwood North in the Latrobe Valley.
The Wooreen Energy Storage System will be located alongside EnergyAustralia’s 450 MW Jeeralang gas-fired power station, allowing the battery to utilise existing electricity and transmission infrastructure.
EnergyAustralia’s Head of Portfolio Development Dan Nugent said the planning approval brings building the Wooreen project a step closer with the lithium-ion battery scheduled to be commissioned by the end of 2026, ahead of Yallourn’s closure in mid-2028.
“With the approval of the planning application, our focus now is on finalising procurement and the grid connection application ahead of starting construction of the battery next year,” he said.
EnergyAustralia, which is owned by Hong Kong-based power company CLP Group, said the Wooreen project, and others like it, will be critical as the clean energy transition takes place, seeing baseload coal-fired power stations retire and replaced with variable renewable energy, as well as flexible generation and storage technologies.
The company said the battery will provide cover for more than 230,000 households for four hours before needing to be recharged, “helping to secure Victoria’s energy supply, enable more renewable energy to enter the electricity network.”
“Its ability to store and rapidly supply energy during times of high demand will be vital in supporting solar and wind renewables as part of Victoria’s electricity system of the future,” Nugent said.
The Wooreen battery is part of EnergyAustralia’s growing battery trading portfolio which forms part of the company’s strategy to be carbon neutral by 2050.The gen-tailer already operates two utility-scale battery storage systems in Victoria: a 25 MW/50 MWh battery co-located with the Gannawarra Solar Farm, and the 30 MW/30 MWh Ballarat big battery located at the regional city’s terminal station.
EnergyAustralia has also partnered with renewables developer Edify Energy on two battery storage projects being developed in southwest New South Wales (NSW). Due for completion during the summer of 2023/24, the Darlington Point and Riverina battery energy storage projects are part of an energy storage system with a combined 150 MW/300 MWh of storage capacity spread over three individual but co-located assets.
EnergyAustralia is also investigating the feasibility of developing a 500 MW/2 GWh big battery adjacent to its 1.4 GW Mount Piper coal-fired power station in NSW.
It has also signed an agreement with Genex Power to provide equity financing for the construction of the 250 MW Kidston pumped hydro project being built as part of the Kidston renewables hub in north Queensland.
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