WA switches on first big battery
Western Australia’s first large scale battery storage project is ready for testing.
The Kwinana Battery Energy Storage System (KBESS1), a key factor in the state’s plan to transition to net zero emissions, will start discharging energy into the grid and undergo a series of tests before fully entering the network late this year, 12 months after it was originally scheduled to start operating.
The state government is delivering the 100 megawatt/200 megawatt-hour battery, which is the size of 14 tennis courts and can store enough energy to power 160,000 homes for up to two hours, through its energy provider Synergy at the site of the decommissioned Kwinana Power station.
The system will absorb excess energy from rooftop solar when the sun is shining and release it in the evening, when demand peaks.
Funding for second, bigger battery at Kwinana
The state budget, handed down by Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan last week, provided $2.3 billion towards battery energy storage including a second, larger system at the Kwinana site, with four times the energy storage of stage one.
“With the Kwinana big battery entering operational testing today, we’re moving onto an even bigger battery on site – with four times the capacity,” Mr McGowan said on Monday.
The second Kwinana big battery is expected to be operational by late 2024.
Another battery system (CBESS) will be developed in the coal town of Collie, which the government says will be one of the biggest battery systems in the world, providing around 500 MW for up to four hours.
Batteries ‘critical to WA energy future’
Mr McGowan said battery storage systems will be critical to WA’s energy future.
“Battery storage systems will be critical to our energy future, allowing us to harness our rooftop solar resources to meet power needs during peak times,” he said in a statement.
“It will make our existing electricity system more secure, support the continued uptake of renewables, and set up our State for the long-term.”
Budget papers say Synergy will continue to progress the development of renewable generation and energy storage infrastructure over the next financial year to replace its coal-fired generation assets by 2030, including the King Rocks Wind Farm.
This proposed wind farm is located 35 km northeast of Hyden and will consist of up to 30 wind turbines. The project has received development approval from the Shire of Kondinin.
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