Waratah Super Battery gets grid green light from AEMO


The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has granted generator performance standard (GPS) approval for the 850 MW / 1,680 MWh Waratah Super Battery being developed by Akaysha Energy at the site of a shuttered coal-fired power station at Lake Munmorah on the New South Wales (NSW) Central Coast.

The GPS approval was granted after Akaysha Energy demonstrated that the energy storage system is capable of satisfying the performance standards required to ensure stability and reliability of the electrical grid.

Andrew Kingsmill, Executive Director of network planning and technical advisory at NSW’s EnergyCo which is serving as infrastructure planner for the project, said the GPS approval eliminates one of the most substantial technical barriers for the battery, allowing it to participate in the growing energy storage market in Australia.

“The approval of the generator performance standard is a significant milestone because the project has passed the simulations needed to know that it can successfully connect to the grid later this year,” he said.

EnergyCo said the GPS approval is the first such approval for such a large battery energy storage project, paving the way for other ‘super batteries’ in the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Akaysha Chief Executive Officer Nick Carter said the GPS milestone comes after more than 12 months of dedicated effort.

“Connecting energy projects to the Australian grid poses unique challenges due to stringent interconnection standards resulting from a combination of an inherently weak electrical grid, strict performance requirements and high renewable energy penetration,” he said.

“The significance is that we now have a clear pathway to get the battery connected.”

The Waratah Super Battery project, which will start life backed by a contract from EnergyCo, is a key component of the state government’s plan to replace Origin’s 2,880 MW coal-fired Eraring generator that will shut down in August 2025.

Eraring’s impending closure has prompted concerns of instability in the NSW power grid if not enough renewable energy and storage can be brought online.

By operating as part of a system integrity protection scheme (SIPS) to increase the transmission capacity of the existing network, the Waratah battery will allow more power to flow from existing generators.

Akaysha has been contracted to deliver a battery capable of providing a guaranteed continuous active power capacity of at least 700 MW and a guaranteed useable energy storage capacity of at least 1,400 MWh. The company plans to trade the additional 150 MW/280 MWh in the electricity market to access additional revenue streams.

Construction of the project commenced in June 2023 with Consolidated Power Projects Australia (CPP) awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract. United States-based equipment manufacturer Powin is providing the battery hardware and software while its wholly owned subsidiary, EKS Energy, will provide the power conversion systems.

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