Genex gets green for full commercial operations at 100 MWh Bouldercombe battery

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Australian renewable energy developer Genex Power announced it has obtained approvals to operate the 50 MW, two-hour duration Bouldercombe Battery Project near Rockhampton on Queensland’s central coast at full generation and load capacity after completing the commissioning process.

Genex said the project is now able to operate at its full 50 MW capacity but will initially operate with only 38 of its 40 Megapack units, with battery technology supplier Tesla due to replace two modules by early December after fire broke out at the facility in September.

The fire, since found to have occurred at the grid side of the battery unit, damaged one Megapack unit while a neighbouring module that could have been impacted by the heat of the fire is also being replaced. The units have already been shipped and are expected to arrive and complete installation and commissioning in early December 2023.

Genex Chief Executive Officer Craig Francis said while the fire had caused a minor delay, the project has been completed within budget.

“The completion of construction and commencement of operations at our 50 MW/100 MWh Bouldercombe Battery Project is an exciting milestone for Genex,” he said.

“Bouldercombe is our first battery energy storage project and after the fire event in late September, delivering it with only a modest delay and within budget is a fantastic outcome for Genex and its partners.”

The battery is to be operated by Tesla with Genex saying that full operational dispatch rights of the battery can now be handed over as part of a long-term offtake agreement that includes a revenue sharing arrangement.

Tesla will use its Autobidder algorithm technology to optimise the battery’s performance and “maximise revenues across the arbitrage and frequency control” services.

Francis said the timing for commencement of full operations for the project could not be better, coinciding with the new Fast Frequency Response ancillary services market which commenced last month and a looming El Nino summer which is expected to place significant stress on the electricity network.

“The commencement of operations will mark the next step-change in revenues and cash flows for Genex, and we are also extremely pleased that Bouldercombe will be able to play its part in supporting the Queensland energy system over this period,” he said.

Bouldercombe is Genex’s first battery investment. The developer is also building the 250 MW/2,000 MWh Kidston Pumped Hydro Project in north Queensland, and operates the nearby 50 MW Kidston Solar Farm and the 50 MW Jemalong Solar Farm in New South Wales.

The Bouldercombe battery is the second big battery to be switched on in the Queensland grid, after Singapore-based developer Vena Energy flicked the switch on the 100 MW/150 MWh Wandoan South battery in the state’s south-west in August 2022.

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