Queensland’s biggest 500 MW / 1 GWh battery gets planning approval

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Renewables investment company Octopus Australia, a subsidiary of UK-based Octopus Group, has received planning approval from Ipswich City Council for its 1 GWh Blackstone battery energy storage system (BESS) 40 km southwest of Brisbane in Swanbank.

Capable of powering 70,000 homes, Blackstone is currently Queensland’s largest BESS project and the approval progresses Octopus’s renewables strategy to develop large scale energy storage in strategic locations across the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Octopus Renewables Australia Co-Managing Director Sonia Teitel said the planning approval for the Blackstone Battery is a significant step towards building Octopus’s integrated portfolio of multi-technology renewable assets.

“The Blackstone Battery will play a pivotal role in delivering reliable renewable energy generation in Queensland and supporting the state’s transition towards a renewable future,” Teitel said.

Once constructed, the battery project will compliment Octopus’s other solar and wind assets in Queensland, including the currently in development Ardandra 75 MW / 150 MWh battery and potential 100 MW solar farm, 350 km west of Brisbane in the Western Downs Region.

The integration will allow Octopus to shift generation between its assets, optimising supply, and mitigating intermittency.

Octopus Australia is collaborating with key stakeholders towards the next phases of the project, including Australian-owned, Sydney-headquartered energy company Firm Power that initiated the project prior to selling it to Octopus, and Queensland transmission network provider Powerlink.

Given the high volumes of solar generation in Queensland, the Blackstone BESS will also play a role in capturing energy generated during the day to redistribute in the evening to meet peak demand periods.

The Blackstone project will also make a significant contribution to the Queensland government’s commitment to achieving 80% renewable energy by 2035.

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