Genex Power says will purchase 40 Tesla Megapack battery units for its 50MW/100MWh Bouldercombe big battery in Queensland, which will become one of the largest standalone battery storage projects in Australia.
Genex will use the latest version of Tesla’s Megapack batteries, lithium iron phosphate battery cells, which are less prone to thermal runaway than the conventional lithium ion alternatives. The Megapacks are expected to be delivered during 2022, with full operation expected by 2023.
The big battery will be built adjacent to the Bouldercombe 275kV/132kV substation near Rockhampton in Queensland and will provide key network support services to the Queensland grid, with the business case for the project being based on both energy arbitrage and FCAS markets.
The Bouldercombe battery will also form the first part of Genex’s “Como battery strategy” with the company planning to roll out further big batteries throughout the grid.
Genex said that it was nearing financial close on the project and was in negotiations with potential lenders to the battery project and is aiming to conclude negotiations with an off-taker for the project too.
Genex CEO James Harding said that choosing Tesla as the supplier of the battery components was a major step forward for the project and will allow them to work with a provider with significant experience in large battery deployments and the Australian market.
“This is a key milestone in the Project’s development and one the Company has been working towards since Tesla’s appointment as the preferred supplier and integrator in 2020,” Harding said.
“The Project is Genex’s first large-scale Battery Energy Storage System and is part of our Como strategy to broaden our footprint in energy storage.
“The development of our Battery Storage strategy in conjunction with our pumped hydro project and operating solar energy assets further positions Genex as the leading Australian renewable energy and storage company.”
The ASX-listed Genex is currently building its flagship pumped hydro energy storage project at Kidston in Queensland. The 250MW/2,000MWh project will use two disused gold mine pits to transfer water for energy storage.
Tesla has previously deployed its Megapacks at a number of Australian projects.
However, progress was held up by the fire in two of the units at the 300MW/450MWh Victorian Big Battery, currently undergoing commissioning near Geelong.
The project was temporarily delayed in its commissioning due to a fire incident – but was given clearance this week by regulators to continuing commissioning.
Tesla Megapacks are also being used for the 50MW/75MWh Wallgrove battery project built in Western Sydney by Transgrid, and which should be completed soon.
The Megapacks offer substantially larger capacity than the Powerpack batteries that have previously been deployed in Australia, including at the Hornsdale Power Reserve Project and Lake Bonney batteries in South Australia, at the Gannawarra and Bulgana batteries in Victoria, and the Kennedy Energy Park in Queensland.
Bouldercombe will be the second big battery in Queensland, following the 100MW/150MWh Wandoan big battery that is now going through the commissioning process.
See also: Big Battery Storage Map of Australia