Major Qld solar park to power 400,000 homes

QUEENSLAND'S largest battery will be built to power up to 57,000 homes as part of a $650 million renewable energy project in the state's south west.

AGL Energy and Vena Energy Australia this morning announced a partnership to build the massive 100 megawatt battery near Wandoan on the Western Downs.

The battery will be one of the largest in the nation, creating 30 jobs during construction as part of the first stage of a major renewable project that could supply up to 400,000 homes with solar energy.

Vena Energy CEO Nitin Apte said the battery build would begin in July and take one year to complete.

"The battery energy storage system is the first major milestone in our $650 million Wandoan South Project, which has the potential to supply up to 400,000 Queensland households with solar energy," he said.

"During construction of the battery, local employment and procurement opportunities will be available, with the labour force anticipated to be 30 strong.

"And once the battery is built, Vena Energy Australia plans to keep the momentum moving and aims to begin work on a solar farm at the same site in 2021."

 

An artist's impression of what the battery energy storage system will look like when it is build in Wandoan. The system is a partnership between Vera Energy Australia and AGL, and will power up to 57,000 homes when it is built.
An artist's impression of what the battery energy storage system will look like when it is build in Wandoan. The system is a partnership between Vera Energy Australia and AGL, and will power up to 57,000 homes when it is built.

 

The lithium-ion battery will be one of the biggest in Australia and will be able to take and deliver 100 megawatts of energy into and out of the National Energy Market, and store up to 150 megawatt hours of energy.

AGL and Vena Energy Australia have signed a 15-year agreement to deliver and operate the battery.

As the user of the battery, AGL will have full operational dispatch rights, and as the owner of the battery, Vena Energy Australia will build and maintain the asset.

Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said the project proved Queensland's renewable energy revolution was steaming ahead,

"The climate-change deniers criticise renewable energy for not being available when the sun doesn't shine and wind doesn't blow: batteries are a game-changer," he said.

"This battery is the first step in Vena Energy's bigger plans to deliver up to 1000 megawatts of solar energy in Queensland."

 

Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham (centre) pictured with Vena Energy CEO Nitin Apte (left) and AGL Energy CEO Brett Redman (right) signing the solar battery agreement. (AAP Image/Josh Woning)
Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham (centre) pictured with Vena Energy CEO Nitin Apte (left) and AGL Energy CEO Brett Redman (right) signing the solar battery agreement. (AAP Image/Josh Woning)

 

AGL CEO Brett Redman said the battery would complement the company's renewable projects.

"This battery will support our massive Coopers Gap Wind Farm, which will be producing up to 453 megawatts of energy when all 123 wind turbines are up and running," he said.

"AGL will also be able to leverage excess solar generation in Queensland and provide capacity when the Coopers Gap Wind Farm and other renewable power sources are not generating."

Queensland already has three large-scale batteries operating at Lakeland Solar Farm in Far North Queensland, at Kennedy Energy Park near Hughenden and at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.

Another in Townsville is expected to be operating next month.

Dr Lynham said $4.7 billion worth of investment in renewable energy projects had occurred since December 2016, creating 4200 jobs.

Queensland has almost 5500 megawatts of renewable generation capacity.


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