Developers secure approval for four-hour big battery in WA wheatbelt


Nomad Energy and Atmos Renewables have confirmed that Western Australia’s (WA) Regional Development Assessment Panel has provided formal approval for the proposed 100 MW / 400 MWh Merredin battery energy storage system to be built about 260 kilometres east of state capital Perth.

WA-based Nomad said the Shire of Merredin had shown “strong backing” for the project that once constructed is to boost power reliability in the eastern part of the state’s main grid.

“We look forward to delivering this much-needed energy project for WA,” the company said.

The $220 million (USD 143.9 million) battery energy storage project is to be developed on a four-hectare site about 7.5 kilometres southwest of the town, and will be connected to the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) at the nearby Merredin terminal. The site is adjacent to the 100 MW Merredin Solar Farm, which was developed by Nomad and is now owned by Singapore-headquartered SUN Energy.

The companies are targeting financial close in the fourth quarter of this year with tendering for an engineering, procurement and construction contract currently underway. Construction works are expected to begin before the end of 2024 with the battery to commence operations in early 2026.

The Merredin battery is just the latest in a raft of big battery projects proposed for WA as the state government seeks to ramp up energy storage capacity to support its planned transition from coal-fired power to renewables.

WA government-owned utility Synergy has already switched on the 100 MW/200 MWh first stage of the Kwinana battery energy storage project and has commenced construction of the second stage that will deliver 200 MW / 800 MWh of capacity.

Synergy is also building a 500 MW / 2 GWh battery at Collie in the state’s southwest.

French renewables giant Neoen has also started construction of a 219 MW / 877 MWh battery in Collie while WA utility Alinta Energy has begun building a 100 MW / 200 MWh battery at Wagerup in the state’s southwest.

The WA government has previously declared that it aims to retire all state-owned coal-fired power stations by 2029.

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