Genex secures network deal for Queensland big battery | RenewEconomy

Genex secures network deal for Queensland big battery

Genex secures site for 50MW/75MWh big battery in Queensland after securing a land access deal with network company Powerlink.

The Ballarat big battery system, also co-located with a substation. Credit: ARENA.

Clean energy project developer Genex says that it has secured the location for its Bouldercombe Big Battery in a deal with Powerlink to locate the battery nearby to an existing substation.

Genex announced on Tuesday that it had entered into a deal with network company Powerlink to site the battery project adjacent to the Bouldercombe 275kV/132kV substation near Rockhampton, in Queensland, allowing the battery easy access to a network connection.

“Following an extensive search and selection process, the Bouldercombe site presents the ideal location for the project and we are pleased to have secured access to it under this Agreement with Powerlink,” Genex CEO James Harding said.

“The appointment of a preferred battery system supplier now allows us to commence the grid connection process which is on the critical development path for the project.”

Genex did not disclose who the preferred battery supplier would be, as the supplier has sought to remain unknown until financial close on the project is achieved, but RenewEconomy understands the supplier has an established presence in the Australian market for ‘big battery’ projects and is a very well known brand in the energy storage space.

The Bouldercombe big battery is expected to be sized at 50MW/75MWh and will be the first stand-alone big battery system installed in Queensland. Having secured access to the land close to the Powerlink substation, Genex said that it would progress negotiations to connect to the grid at the site, which would then enable financial sign-off and construction to commence.

Genex hopes to start construction on the Bouldercombe big battery in the second quarter of 2021, with operations to commence in early 2022, if not earlier.

Genex sees the battery as the first part of a series of investments the company will make in Queensland energy projects, including plans for a Como big battery, announcing last month that it had secured finance for that project.

“Genex is pleased to have signed this Agreement with Powerlink in relation to the proposed 50MW/75MWh battery energy storage system project at Bouldercombe. The Bouldercombe Battery Project is the first large scale battery project as part of our Project Como strategy to broaden our footprint in energy storage,” Harding added.

“This represents an exciting opportunity for us to apply the extensive market knowledge we have gained from developing the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project towards broadening and diversifying our storage portfolio, and to capture a significantly enhanced revenue generation profile.”

Genex is currently progressing towards reaching financial close on its flagship project, the Kidston pumped hydro energy storage project, which will repurpose two disused mine pits to provide 250MW/2,000MWh of storage capacity, and will be the largest pumped hydro storage facility built in Australia for several decades.

Genex hopes to start construction on the pumped hydro project before the end of the year.

“Achieving financial close of the company’s flagship Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project continues to remain our top priority, alongside the successful delivery of the 50MW Jemalong Solar Project,” Harding added.

“The combination of these near-term projects, together with our existing 50MW Kidston Solar Project and now the development of the standalone 50MW/75MWh Bouldercombe Battery Project, will serve to position the company as one of the Australian market leaders in renewables and energy storage.”

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