Ground has broken on what will be one of the world’s largest batteries which is set to be built in Western Australia.

In its latest announcement, the Western Australian Government said that construction has commenced on the 500 MW or 2,000 MWh Collie Battery Energy Storage System.

Set to be complete by the end of 2025, the battery will form a key part of the Western Australian Government’s plan to deliver secure and reliable power as the state moves away from coal-fired power plants.

As with other utility scale batteries, the battery will act as energy storage.

It will absorb excess energy generated by rooftop solar PV systems when the sun is shining during the day and will discharge this when demand for energy peaks during the evening.

When fully charged, the battery will provide around 500 MW or 2,000 MWh worth of power.

The latest developments come as Australia is experiencing a flood of investment in utility scale battery and other large-scale storage facilities.

In 2023, new financial commitments for the construction of large-scale storage facilities came in at record levels of $4.9 billion, according to the Clean Energy Australia report published by the Clean Energy Council.

This is well up on the $1.9 billion recorded during the previous year.

In June, construction commenced for the 850 MW/1,680 MWh Warratah Super Battery, which is being constructed on the site of the former Munmorah Power Station in New South Wales.

In October, the even larger proposed 1.2GW, two hour battery (2.4GWh) at the Melbourne Renewable Energy Hub received environmental approval from the Federal Government.

Large-scale storage is seen as being critical in order to maintain the stability and reliability of the energy grid amid increasing levels of penetration of intermittent renewable energy generation (solar and wind).

In its 2022 Integrated System Plan, the Australian Energy Market Operater said that the nation needed to triple the current amount of ‘firming capacity’ in the National Energy Market which is offered by utility scale batteries, pumped hydro and other energy sources to ensure that the nation maintains a reliable energy supply as it transitions toward a net zero energy system.

The Collie Battery Energy Storage System will be delivered on a site nearby the coal-fired Collie Power Station just over 200 kilometres south of Perth.

It will connect to the power grid via the 330kV Shotts Terminal around 2.5 kilometres away.

Two 330kV overhead lines will run from the battery site to connect at the terminal.

All up, the size of the battery is expected to be approximately 40,000 square meters.

This equates to around two full-sized football ovals and is around ten times the size of the WA’s existing Kwinana Battery Storage System 1 that was connected to transmission in south-west Western Australia in 2023.

The system will use modularised batteries which are similar to those used on the aforementioned Kwinana battery.

It is being constructed by WA Government owned energy provider Synergy.

Collie-based earthworks and rehabilitation specialists Cardinal Contractors has been awarded the contract to complete site preparation earthworks for the battery facility.

Last June, contracts were awarded to energy technology provider Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) to supply about 650 EnerC Plus, containerised liquid-cooling battery systems for the battery and to renewable energy storage manufacturer Power Electronics to deliver around 160 inverters for the battery.

All up, as many as 500 jobs expected to be created during peak construction.

WA Energy Minister Recce Whitby welcomed the start of construction.

“This is an exciting milestone for Western Australia’s decarbonisation journey,” Reece said.

“Synergy’s ground-breaking project is significant for the Collie community and will help local workers and families as Synergy seeks to exit coal-fired power by 2030.

“When complete, this battery will support reliability and more renewable energy on WA’s main electricity grid.”


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