Australia will receive one of the biggest batteries ever to be built in the state of Queensland, all through a deal that will be centred around AGL. Investors say the development will further stabalise the grid and allow it to shift from coal sources into renewables. It’ll also iron out any challenges currently affecting both wind and solar power.
Set to be positioned in Wandoan, the large-scale grid battery will be created by Vena Energy across the span of 18 months. It will be of a similar size to the iconic Tesla battery in South Australia, which made global headlines in 2017. Queensland’s version, however, will feature a capacity 100 megawatts and the ability to store 150 megawatt hours of power through electricity – enough to run 57,000 households.
Currently still in the early stages, grid-scale battery is heralded as being the key to moving away from power stations that emit extreme amounts of emissions – such as coal-fired sites. The prime benefit lies in the batteries’ capacity to store electricity created from renewables and distribute it later on when conditions aren’t swaying in the favour of these sustainable sources.
Why is this such a big deal for renewable energy in Australia?
Queensland’s Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said on Wednesday that renewables are often the source of criticism when weather conditions aren’t offering peak generation. However, he noted that these batteries would be a game-change across the board, acting as a powerhouse for Australia’s renewable sector.
Alongside him, AGL Chief executive Brett Redman said this shift will welcome a new era for sustainable energy sources across Australia.
“We are staring at the dawn of a new age of energy: the dawn of the battery age,” Redman said. “As the industry continues to transition from baseload thermal generation to renewables, batteries will be pivotal to providing firming capacity when the sun isn’t shining, when the wind isn’t blowing and the market needs the capacity.”
Because renewable energy contributes to 20 per cent in delivery of Australia’s power, there’s hopes that this will also decrease the demand coming from coal-powered sources in the near future. Currently, these stations dominate the market, supplying 60 per cent of the overall demand.
This week, AGL and Vena Energy announced their collaboration across a 15-year agreement that will see them deliver the battery for the state.AGL will have complete operational dispatch rights, while Vena will remain the owner of the site and will build, maintain and command the asset.
Currently, Queensland has a large amount of excess energy from solar plants that are generating consistent amounts of power. Due to this, experts feel the state is ideal for storage technology, like the AGL battery.