Privately owned NSW development company Greenspot says it has lodged a development application for a huge 500MW, 1000MWh big battery at the site of the closed Wallerawang coal fired power station near Lithgow, and hopes to bring it into service within two years.
The development application to the state government comes just weeks after the last chimney stacks of the closed coal generator were brought down. The battery will be called the “Wallerawang 9 Battery,” to acknowledge the legacy of units 7 and 8, which were the last coal fired units at the power station.
“The lodgement of the development application for the Wallerawang 9 Battery is an important early marker in repurposing the site for the next chapter of success”, Greenspot CEO Brett Hawkins said in a statement.
“There is much at stake as we look to reinstate the power station as the heartbeat of the community here. We’re looking forward to working together with all stakeholders to generate renewed business activity and sustainable employment opportunities for the region.”
Greenspot is looking at revitalising the facility with a battery and new industries, but the project is just one of a number of large scale storage projects in the area that are competing for a spot in the market.
Neoen has a site nearby for another proposed 500MW/1000MWh battery, dubbed the Great Western Battery, while both EnergyAustralia (at Lake Lyell), and Atco (at Central West near Bathurst) have proposals for large pumped hydro projects.
All the proposals have at least one eye on the NSW Infrastructure Roadmap, which is looking to build 12GW of new wind and solar, and 2GW of long duration storage to prepare for the closure of most of the state’s coal fired power generators over the next decade.
The Central West Orana renewable energy zone will be one of the first to solicit new renewable and storage projects, Greenspot says it won’t be waiting around for this and will look to contract the battery to an existing market participant.
Greenspot said it hopes the first stage of the Wallerawang battery (around half the planned capacity) is operational by summer 2023/24, in time for the closure of Liddell, after a final investment decision in the second half of 2022.
“We’re excited about the project’s potential to deliver storage, firming and other energy services to facilitate the introduction of more renewables into the New South Wales market”, said Hawkins.
“Greenspot is focussed on delivering a shovel ready site and our aim is to work with leading energy market players to deliver a successful example of what’s possible as Australia transitions to renewable energy.”
Greenspot Wallerawang Pty Ltd (Greenspot) was established to acquire and repurpose property assets, primarily from the fossil fuel industry. The Wallerawang site is more than 600 hectares and Greenspot is looking to attract energy, water and other industries to the site.
Big batteries have been planned or are under construction at a number of closed, and soon to be closed coal generators around Australia, including at the Northern, Liddell, Eraring, Yallourn and Loy Yang A facilities, and the Torrens Island gas complex near Adelaide.
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