Queensland builds on statewide network-connected battery program


The Queensland government has announced a $179 million (USD 117 million) investment that will underpin stages three and four of its local network-connected batteries program that has already delivered 17 battery energy storage systems designed to assist in gaining the maximum advantage from the state’s rooftop solar systems.

The first stage the program entailed five local network-connected batteries being deployed across Queensland, with stage two currently under way to add another 12 batteries.

Energy Queensland Chief Engineer Peter Price said the 4 MW / 8 MWh network-connected batteries to be rolled out in the next stages will be installed in regional areas with high solar penetration and will be used to soak up excess generation and support the energy network during times of peak demand.

“By basing the batteries in communities where there are large volumes of roof top solar means renewable energy will be generated locally, stored locally, and then used locally, reducing the pressure on the network,” he said.

“With these battery projects we’re aiming for a win-win-win scenario that achieves the energy trifecta for communities throughout the state – affordability, security and sustainability.”

Stage three of the program is set to deliver 12 additional 4 MW / 8 MWh batteries with Price saying the project will build on the lessons learned in the initial stages to ensure that efficiencies and benefits are continually added into the program.

Stage four will entail the deployment of two flow batteries sourced from Queensland manufacturers.

“Stage four of the plan will be particularly exciting as it will investigate the suitability of two batteries as an alternative to lithium batteries, with the added bonus of potentially kickstarting a local battery industry,” Price said.

State-owned Energy Queensland last year signed a deal with Redflow for the supply of a 4 MWh of zinc-bromine flow battery energy storage while fellow Queensland-based renewables company Energy Storage Industries – Asia Pacific (ESI) has been tapped to supply a 5 MWh iron flow battery.

Queensland Premier Steven Miles said the battery program will play a central role in the state’s Energy and Jobs Plan by maximising the benefits of rooftop solar and bolstering the electricity distribution network.

“We have the highest rate of rooftop solar anywhere in Australia so it’s only right that we equip our energy network to keep pace with the high rates of solar generation,” he said.

“This battery program is fundamental to our success in achieving 70% renewable energy by 2030, and Net Zero Emissions by 2050.”

The initial stage of the local network-connected batteries program delivered batteries at Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Toowoomba, Townsville and Yeppoon.

Stage two is currently in delivery, with the installation of 12 batteries underway in Cairns (two sites), Townsville, Mackay, Emerald, Mundubbera, Gladstone, Howard, Toowoomba, Raby Bay, Morayfield and Bribie Island.

Energy Queensland is yet to finalise sites for the stage three batteries but Mooloolaba, Runaway Bay, Cornubia, Jimboomba, Woodridge, Yatala, Barcaldine, Dalby, Glenella, Toowoomba, Milchester and Maryborough are currently being considered.

Burrum Heads and Ipswich are the likely sites for the two flow batteries that will be installed in stage four of the program.

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