Neoen gets nod for first big battery in Tasmania


Neoen expects to begin building the first 140 MW/280 MWh stage of the proposed Great Lakes Battery in 2024 after the Northern Midlands Council earlier this week approved the development application for what is shaping up to be Tasmania’s first grid-connected big battery.

Planning documents indicate construction of the Great Lakes Battery, being developed near the town of Poatina approximately 50 kilometres south of Launceston, is expected to begin by the middle of next year. It is anticipated the first stage will take about 18 months to complete with the battery energy storage system likely to commence operations in 2026.

Neoen said once completed, the first 140 MW/280 MWh stage will provide rapid-response services, helping to stabilise the grid and increase number of renewable projects in Tasmania.

“The purpose of the battery and associated infrastructure is to provide battery storage with renewable energy for grid stabilisation to the Tasmanian electricity network,” the developer said.

“The battery will provide a variety of services including frequency control and load shifting, which are both necessary for the development of more renewable energy.”

Neoen indicated that the power of the battery is likely to be contracted for an optimal use of the technology.

The Great Lakes Battery is to be built on a four-hectare site near TasNetwork’s existing Palmerston Transend substation, approximately 2.5 km northeast of Poatina.

Neoen said the site, within the proposed Central Highlands Renewable Energy Zone, is ideally located to maximise the benefit of the battery storage to the Tasmanian electricity network.

“The Palmerston Transend substation is centrally placed in the state and is the hub of Tasmania’s highest voltage network with direct connections to the state’s three major load centres of Devonport, Launceston and Hobart,” Neoen said.

“It is hoped that a battery in this location can play its part in supporting the Tasmanian government to achieve a smooth transition towards their goal of 200% renewable energy output, based on 2022’s figures.”

The Great Lakes Battery is one of 12 big battery projects Neoen has in operation or under development in Australia.

Among them is the now 150 MW/193.5 MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, the country’s first big battery when it was built in 2016. Other projects include the 300 MW/450 MWh Victorian Big Battery, near Geelong, which is currently Australia’s largest battery, the 200 MW/400 MWh Blyth Battery storage system in South Australia and a 1 GW/4 GWh battery being built near the town of Collie in Western Australia.

Neoen’s solar projects include the recently commissioned 400 MW Western Downs Solar Farm in Queensland. Developed on a 1,500 ha site near Chinchilla in Queensland, the project will also include a 270 MW/540 MWh battery energy storage system.

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