Akaysha preps for arrival of ‘superload’ at Waratah battery site


Australian battery and renewable energy developer Akaysha Energy said a 477-tonne ‘superload’ carrying a high voltage 350 MVA transformer is on its way to project site at Munmorah on the New South Wales (NSW) Central Coast.

A transport combination measuring approximately 125 metres in length and about 5.8 metres wide departed from manufacturer Wilson Transformer Company’s facility at Glen Waverly in Victoria earlier this week carrying the transformer that will weigh in at more than 300 tonnes when it is installed.

Akaysha Chief Executive Officer Nick Carter said the convoy is due to arrive at the site of the now-demolished coal-fired Munmorah power station on 5 February 2024.

“It’s exciting to see one of the largest BESS high voltage transformers begin its journey to Waratah,” he said.

Carter said the 350 MVA 330/33/33 kV transformer is a key piece of infrastructure for the Waratah Super Battery that is the centrepiece of the state government’s plan to ensuring the security of electricity supply in NSW ahead of the anticipated closure of coal-fired power stations as early as 2025.

Origin Energy’s 2,880 MW Eraring coal-fired generator is set to shut down in August 2025. Origin will build a battery energy storage system at the site, but the NSW government has fast-tracked the Waratah battery to provide greater grid security.

Akaysha will own and operate the battery, which will start operations backed by a near-five-year contract from NSW’s EnergyCo that requires continuous active power capacity of at least 700 MW and a guaranteed useable energy storage capacity of at least 1,400 MWh.

Akaysha has opted to deliver an 850 MW / 1,680 MWh battery that will be the largest of its type in the southern hemisphere and one of the largest in the world.

The oversizing of the battery allows for degradation of the battery over time to ensure security of supply. It also allows Akaysha to utilise the excess capacity to tap into additional revenue streams.

Construction of the Waratah battery began in late May and completion is slated for 2025, ahead of the earliest possible closure date for the Eraring power station.

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