The first grid-scale big battery in Queensland – at Wandoan South – has started operations, charging and discharging for the first time this week as it begins its long commissioning process.
The 100MW/150MWh Wandoan South facility is the first stand-alone big battery to be operating in Australia’s main grid north of Victoria, although several smaller batteries have been installed at locations such as the Kennedy Energy Park, still working through its own commissioning process.
There are six operating big battery installations on Australia’s main grid – Hornsdale Power Reserve, Lake Bonney and Dalrymple North in South Australia, and Gannawarra, Ballarat and Bulgana in Victoria – with another half a dozen under construction of ready to start commissioning.
Some of these are in NSW – such as the soon to be competed Wallgrove big battery in western Sydney, and in Queensland, where the state government promised a “battery blitz” in one of its responses to the explosion at the Callide coal unit in May.
Wandoan South is owned by Vena Energy but is contracted to AGL. It is around the same size as the original Hornsdale battery, and is being built by contractor Doosan in the Western Downs region, the centre for a lot of the state’s wind and solar projects, and could be co-located with a future gigawatt scale solar project.
The battery obtained its registration in late July, and hopes to be fully operational by the end of the end of the year. Its services, particularly its ability to respond quickly to network events, such as coal explosions and network outages, could be very important in the current summer.
Anil Nangia, the head of Vena Energy Australia, confirmed that the battery is going through its first hold point testing now. Some readings on some data aggregators that suggested an injection of 90MW were a mistake, and it was more likely to be in the range of 90kW in the first period of testing.
Vena Energy is hoping to build a solar farm of up to 650MW at the site of the battery, but that will depend on a range of factors, including its ability to obtain long term power purchase agreements. It is also hopeful of developing a second stage to its Tailem Bend solar farm in South Australia, subject to the same conditions.
See RenewEconomy’s Big Battery Storage Map of Australia for more information.