New 300 MW battery proposed by Alinta Energy in WA’s southwest

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Alinta Energy has filed a proposal to build a second big battery in Wagerup, following an announcement in August that it was commencing work on a 100 MW / 200 MWh battery in a neighbouring location, about 120 kilometres south of Perth.

The paperwork for the second battery was filed to the Western Australian Department of Planning on December 4, 2023. Alinta’s new 300 MW battery proposal will need to be reviewed by the Shire of Waroona and approved by the Regional Joint Development Assessment Panel to progress.

The duration of this new battery project has not yet been made public, but it is planned for site on Willowdale Road, just a few kilometres from Alcoa’s alumina refinery, among the state’s biggest electricity users.

The new battery plan comes just months after Alinta announced work had begun on its nearby 100 MW / 200 MWh battery, being delivered by electrical design firm Shanghai Electric Power Design Institute (SEPD) and Australian solar and battery installer Sunterra. The 100 MW project is scheduled to be commissioned during the “second half of 2024.”

Big batteries to help plug WA’s looming supply gap

Western Australia, the world’s largest islanded grid, is scrambling to shore up its power supplies after the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) flagged the need for “significant and sustained investment in generation, storage and transmission to meet reliability standards” in the South West Interconnected System, WA’s southern grid.

In its latest Wholesale Energy Market Electricity Statement of Opportunity, AEMO predicted Western Australia will have an electricity shortfall of 945 MW by 2025-26.

Built at site of the decommissioned Kwinana Power Station about 30 kilometres south of Perth, Synergy’s 100 MW / 200 MWh Kwinana big battery is now operational.

Image: GenusPlus Group

Just yesterday, Monday December 11, Western Australia’s Regional Joint Development Assessment Panel approved Synergy’s plans to construct a 500 MW/2,000 MWh battery system near the coal town of Collie. The state-owned utility has also received a green light for infrastructure approvals to support a possible expansion to 1,000 MW/4,000 MWh.

Synergy has already completed the 100 MW/200 MWh Kwinana battery, about 30 kilometres south of Perth, which went into operations earlier this year. It has also started work on a new 200 MW/800 MWh big battery being built adjacent to that facility.

French renewables giant Neoen is also in the process of building a 1 GW /4 GWh battery in Collie as the state government seeks to ramp up energy storage capacity to support its planned transition from coal-fired power to renewables.

Neoen started construction of its Collie battery in June, about the same time the company was awarded a contract by AEMO to provide almost all of the project’s Stage 1 capacity to help smooth the state’s solar duck curve.

Alinta Energy’s 100 MW Wagerup battery has also won a contract with the AEMO to help solve some of the state’s supply challenges, making it the second privately owned battery project to do so. 

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