Local council approves gigawatt-scale battery near old coal plant

Image: Edify Energy

Octopus Australia says it has received local planning approval for its proposed one gigawatt hour (GWh) Blackstone battery that it proposes to build near the site of the old Swanbank coal generator near Brisbane.

The planning approval was provided by the Ipswich City Council for the 500 MW/1000 MWh battery project, which will be one of the largest in the state when complete, and five times the size of the biggest battery in Queensland currently commissioned at Chinchilla.

The battery is key to Octopus Australia’s plans to soak up excess solar output in the state, and as it rolls out a string of wind and solar projects across the country’s main grid and seeks to lock in contracts for renewables backed by firmed capacity.

The battery will plug in to the Swanbank sub station and will be located very close to the 250 MW/500 MWh Swanbank battery being built by CleanCo as part of its plans to transform the site that once housed two coal fired power plants into a clean energy hub.

Its other projects in Queensland include the operational Dulacca wind farm and the Ardandra solar and battery project that is currently in development. Octopus expects the Blackstone battery will be able to redistribute renewable output into the peak demand periods in the evening.

“The Blackstone Battery will play a pivotal role in delivering reliable renewable energy generation in Queensland and supporting the state’s transition towards a renewable future,” Sonia Teitel, co-managing director of Octopus Australia, said in a statement.”

Octopus Australia has a growing number of projects across the country, including the Fulham solar and battery hybrid project in Victoria that last month gained its GPS approval from the market operator.

It is also planning solar and battery combination projects at Blind Creek in NSW, Theodore in Queensland, and the 400 MW Saltbush, 1 GW Merino and Giffard wind projects. It also owns the Darlington Point solar farm.

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