Construction is set to begin on what will be the largest committed network battery in the Southern Hemisphere after the project was given the green light to proceed.

In its latest announcement, the New South Wales Government said that planning approval has been granted for the 850 MW Warratah Super Battery.

A key part of the government’s plan to deliver stable and reliable power once the nearby Earing coal-fired power station closes in 2025, the battery is understood by the NSW Government to be the largest committed network battery in the southern hemisphere.

Unlike many other batteries, the Warratah Super Battery is not intended to act as a source of long-term energy storage.

Rather, its main function will be to act as a ‘shock absorber’ for the state’s energy grid.

It will maximise the output from existing power stations – particularly for consumers in the major load centres of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong – and act as a standby in the case of power outages. This includes outages that are caused by bushfires or lightning strikes.

It will be triggered by a control system (known as a System Integrity Protection Scheme), that will monitor the network for disruptions, trigger the super battery into action when required, and dial down energy elsewhere in the grid to balance supply.

The battery will be constructed on the site of the former Munmorah coal-fired power station at Lake Munmorah – around 100 kilometers north of Sydney. It will be connected to the grid at the existing former power station.

The location at the old power station site was considered ideal as the land was owned by the NSW Government and existing transmission infrastructure was already in place.

The battery will be developed and constructed by renewable energy and storage developer Akaysha Energy whilst the control system will be designed and built by transmission company Transgrid.

The battery is set to become operational in 2025.

The latest developments come as New South Wales attempts to transition to clean energy whilst doing so in a way that does not compromise reliability as coal fired power stations close down.

In its latest report, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) signaled that New South Wales was reasonably well positioned from a reliability viewpoint.

Whilst the state may well have a reliability gap over the 2025/26 summer period after the Eraring Power Station closes and before the battery becomes operational, AEMO says the commitment to the super battery has addressed many of the reliability gaps that had previously been identified during the middle of the decade.

Whilst reliability concerns remain from 2027/28 onward and will increase from 2029/30 when the Vales Point Power Station reaches its expected retirement, AEMO says these risks may be addressed by a number of projects that are under consideration.

These include the HumeLink (transmission) and Hunter Transmission project, a 380 MWh tender for firming infrastructure, developments in the NSW electricity roadmap of 33,600 GWh or renewable electricity per years and 2GW of long generation storage by the end of 2029 and 457MWh or anticipated battery developments.

The announcement also comes as the NSW state election is set to be held on March 25.

The current Liberal and National Government is basing its strategy around the creation of renewable energy hubs and linking these to the grid.

Meanwhile, Labor says it will prevent any further privatisation or sell-off of energy assets and will create a new state-owned body to accelerate renewable energy investment.

Labor will also legislate carbon emission reduction targets of 50 percent by 2030 and net zero by 2050 and will establish a new commission to monitor and review progress on net zero goals.


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