Solar Batteries to the Rescue: How Australia is Storing Solar Power to Meet Growing Demand

solar batteries

Australia is experiencing a significant shift in its energy landscape as solar power generation reaches new highs nationwide. This transition has brought solar battery storage to the forefront, marking a fundamental change in the power system. Traditionally, electricity was generated and consumed simultaneously, but the advent of solar batteries is revolutionising the industry.

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Current developments

Several large-scale battery projects are underway in Australia, including Synergy’s 2nd solar big battery in Western Australia and Neoen’s Western Downs Battery in Queensland. These projects will help further increase the capacity of Australia’s energy storage system and support the continued growth of renewable energy.

Western Australia's Kwinana 2 big battery

Western Australian utility Synergy has secured planning approval for its proposed second big battery, Kwinana 2. This follows the recent commissioning of the state’s first big battery, a 100MW/200MWh BESS at Kwinana. Read more about Utility Company Unveils Massive Battery Installation as Coal Replacement.

The Kwinana 2 battery will provide 200MW capacity over four hours and is expected to be operational by late 2024. Synergy also has plans for an even larger battery, the Collie Battery Energy Storage System (CBESS), which will deliver a whopping 500MW/2000MWh of capacity.

The WA State Budget includes $368 million for new large-scale wind energy generation projects—at King Rocks and near Eneabba—and $126 million towards electricity network planning and upgrades to support more renewable energy on the grid.

Neoen expands Western Downs Battery in Queensland to 270 MW / 540 MWh

Neoen, one of the world’s leading producers of exclusively renewable energy, has announced the expansion of its Western Downs Battery in Queensland to a total installed capacity of 270 MW / 540 MWh. The expansion will be delivered by Tesla and construction contractor UGL and is expected to start operating in the Australian summer of 2024/25.

The Western Downs Battery is located in Barunggam country near the town of Chinchilla in South West Queensland. It is part of Neoen’s Western Downs Green Power Hub, including Australia’s largest solar farm at 460 MWp capacity. The battery will be connected to the Queensland transmission network via a dedicated high-voltage line.

The expansion of the Western Downs Battery is a significant development for Queensland’s rapidly accelerating energy transition. The battery will play a central role in providing storage and related network services, essential for integrating high levels of renewable energy into the grid.

The battery will store enough energy to power over 200,000 homes for two hours. It will also be able to provide fast-frequency response services, which help to maintain the stability of the electricity grid.

The Western Downs Battery is a major investment in Queensland’s future energy system. It will help to create jobs, boost the local economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Some benefits of solar battery storage

  • Balancing the grid: Solar batteries can store excess solar energy generated during the day and release it at night or when needed, helping to balance the grid and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Reducing costs: Solar batteries can help reduce the need to upgrade infrastructure to cope with peak demand, saving consumers and businesses money.
  • Increasing reliability: Solar batteries can provide backup power during outages, improving the electricity supply’s reliability.
  • Enabling renewable energy: Solar batteries can enable renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power by storing their output and releasing it when needed.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions: The battery will help to reduce reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation. This will help the state meet its emissions reduction targets and contribute to the fight against climate change.
  • Job creation and economic benefits: The construction and operation of the battery will create jobs and boost the local economy.

Future outlook

Battery energy storage system (BESS) or big battery is expected to play an increasingly important role in Australia’s energy system in the future. As the country transitions to a low-carbon future, solar batteries will provide the flexibility and resilience needed to keep the grid running smoothly and reliably.


Source&Images: Synergy Media Releases, Neoen News

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