Perth company lands $50 million contract on Collie big battery build

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Perth-based Southern Cross Electrical Engineering (SCEE) has been awarded a $50 million (USD 33.6 million) contract by state-owned energy utility Synergy, to construct switchyards works at the 500 MW / 2,000 MWh Collie battery energy storage system (BESS).

The windfall is the second allocated to SCEE, after it was awarded a $160 million contract in May 2024 to undertake civil, electrical and major equipment installation works on the Collie BESS project.

Western Australia (WA) Acting Energy Minister Dr Tony Buti said the Collie battery is crucial to the state’s sustainable energy future and it will play a major role in providing better energy outcomes for households and businesses.

“The WA government is committed to building one of the biggest battery systems in the world and it’s great news that a Perth-based company is playing a leading role to bring this project to fruition,” Buti said.

“Congratulations to SCEE Electrical for being awarded this contract that will deliver more jobs for Western Australians as well as support the local economy.”

Located 200 kilometres southeast of Perth, next to the Collie Power Station, the new scope of works will deliver a 330 kV switchyard, substation and support ancillary buildings and equipment to connect the Collie battery to WA utility Western Power’s network.

It will use 640 container batteries, similar to those used on Synergy’s other battery projects in Kwinana, a 150 MW BESS and a 200 MW BESS. The batteries will cover approximately 40,000 sqm which is about two full-sized football ovals.

Anticipating  state-owned coal-fired power stations to be retired by 2030, the state’s government has committed $2.3 billion for Synergy to deliver new battery storage to support renewable energy integration and grid stability.

State member for Collie Jodie Hanns said Collie will be home to one of the largest battery storage systems in the world once this project is complete.

“It means Collie will continue to play a vital role in the energy system for decades to come, having powered WA for over a century,” Hanns said.

“As we move to renewable energy and battery storage, this project adds to the legacy of a community who is committed to playing its role in the future energy needs of the state.”

France-headquartered renewables developer Neoen is also building a BESS near the town of Collie and was awarded a 300 MW four hour storage contract in April 2024 to be delivered by its 341 MW / 1,362 MWh Stage 2 BESS.

SCEE’s previous decarbonisation projects include works on Neoen-owned solar farms in New South Wales with a combined output of 130 MW.

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