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   Gold/Mining/EnergyElectron Energy Storage

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From: Eric11/6/2022 2:42:38 PM
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NSW ramps up storage and firming needs before closure of country’s biggest coal plant

Giles Parkinson 6 November 2022 7

The New South Wales government is ramping up its search for new storage and firming infrastructure as it prepares for the closure of the country’s biggest coal generator in late 2025, and for the exit of most of its coal plants within a decade.

The government has revealed it will be seeking 600MW of long duration storage, as well as 380MW of “firming capacity” – along with 950MW of new generation – in the second tender to be held early next year.

The details were released by AEMO Services, which is co-ordinating the 10-year program of tenders and the creation of new renewable energy zones as part of the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap that is guiding the switch of the country’s most coal dependent state to renewables and storage.

The first of multiple tenders has already been set in motion, with first round offers closing late last month. It is also seeking 2,500GWh of new wind and solar, which is the equivalent of nearly 1GW of new capacity, plus around 600MW of long duration storage.

A shortlist of bidders from the first tender will be invited to submit detailed financial offers in January. The winners will be announced in late March.

Late Friday, AEMO Services revealed the heavy emphasis on storage and firming capacity in the second tender that will be held in the second quarter of calendar 2023.

It flagged in August that the state it will be looking for around 380MW of “firming” infrastructure located in the Sydney-Newcastle-Wollongong sub-region, and that it wants this in place by the summer of 2025/26, so it can meet summer peaks after the expected closure of the 2,800MW Eraring coal plant in late 2025.

This will now be included in the second tender, along with the 2,500GWh of new generation, equivalent to around 950MW of new capacity depending on the mix of wind and solar.

It will also seek up to 600MW of long duration storage, although the final number will depend on how much storage is awarded in the first tender currently under way.

“(Long duration storage) LDS tenders are planned to occur annually, however there is an option to undertake a contingent tender should the need arise,” it said in a statement.

“In this case we are planning an LDS tender to complement the firming tender because LDS and firming infrastructure can service similar functions in terms of reliability.”

The fast-tracking of the long duration storage and the additional “firming” capacity – which is likely to be peaking gas or battery storage capacity – highlights the pressing need to have back ups in place as the pace of coal exits accelerates.

NSW has already announced it is building the Waratah Super Battery – a 600MW, 1480MWh battery that will primary purpose is to allow increased amount of generation to be delivered to customers in the major load centres.

Origin is also building its own battery at Eraring, which could be as big as 700MW/2800MWh when complete, but it will likely be built in stages as the market needs and opportunities evolve.

AEMO Services says the firming capacity added to the second tender will likely be located in the Sydney- Newcastle-Wollongong sub-region will be eligible to participate, and the 380MW size if only indicative.

Details of the eligibility criteria for the firming tender – including duration – will be released soon and made available on its website as part of its market briefing Series.

“The tender has been specifically designed to address an identified need arising from the earlier than previously scheduled retirement of Eraring Power Station, which is reflected in both its timing and the location of infrastructure to be contracted,” the company noted.

“This announcement reflects the flexibility of the Roadmap in response to the changing environment around energy supply in New South Wales, and does not affect the inaugural tender for generation and long-duration storage currently underway.”

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From: gg cox11/13/2022 11:35:48 AM
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Thanks to Ralph..

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From: Eric11/15/2022 7:29:22 PM
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Scotland launches giga-scale big battery rollout to boost grid reliability

Joshua S Hill 16 November 2022 0

Image: Zenobe

British EV fleet and battery storage specialist Zenobe has announced the beginning of construction on three battery storage projects across Scotland which, when complete, will together boast capacity of 1GW/2GWh.

Totalling an investment of £750 million, the three projects include the 300MW/600MWh Blackhillock project, with the 200MW/400MWh first phase due to go live in the first half of 2024.

The 300MW/600MWh Kilmarnock South project has a first 200MW/400MWh phase due to go live in the second half of 2024, while a 400MW/800MWh Eccles project is due to go live in the first half of 2026.

Construction at the Blackhillock site got underway this month, following Zenobe’s 50MW/100MWh battery project at Wishaw, which is expected to go live in the first half of 2023. The Wishaw battery storage project is the first to win a constraint management contract and the first in Scotland to connect directly to the transmission network.

All four projects serve to deliver a project portfolio for Zenobe of 1,050MW/2,100MWh.

Image: Zenobe

Over the planned 15 years of operation the three sites are expected to save up to 13.4 million tonnes of CO2 and help to lower consumers bills by over £1 billion by reducing the curtailment of windfarms over the same period.

Each of the three battery projects are contracted to provide stability services to the UK’s National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO), helping to improve the reliability of the UK’s growing renewable energy sources.

Moreover, these are reportedly the first commercial contracts in the world to use transmission connected batteries to provide short-circuit level and inertia, an essential tool for the grid to function efficiently as fossil fuel plants are continually phased out of operation.

World firsts “Zenobe is transforming the uptake of clean power, enabling the UK to become both more independent and greener in how it generates electricity,” said James Basden, co-founder and director of Zenobe.

“These projects are using the latest technological innovation to make renewable energy more reliable and affordable at a national scale. This is the future for how utility scale battery projects will work on every grid.

“Our projects at Blackhillock, Kilmarnock South and Eccles are world-firsts for battery storage, addressing a key, complex hurdle to the uptake of renewables in an innovative way and pushing forward our progress to energy independence and a zero-carbon grid.”

The deployment of large-scale battery storage is particularly important in a country like Scotland, which currently uses 96% carbon-free generation. The rapid rollout of wind power across the country has meant the transmission network is becoming more congested, leading to the expensive shutdown of wind farms.

As such, the location for each of the three Zenobe battery storage projects was chosen specifically to help reduce this curtailment, allowing for more power to reach the grid, helping to lower bills for consumers and increase the UK’s energy independence.

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From: Eric11/16/2022 9:06:20 AM
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NSW plans massive solar and battery virtual power plant across 2,200 public schools

Sophie Vorrath 16 November 2022 3

Image supplied

Plans to establish Australia’s largest school-based solar and battery virtual power plant in New South Wales are underway, with the launch of an expression of interest process by the state government.

The NSW Smart Energy Schools Pilot project, which had its start in May of this year, is seeking to harness the solar generation potential of up to eight million square metres of roof space across 2,200 public schools.

Starting this week, School Infrastructure NSW is inviting specialist companies to register for the pilot program in what is believed to be one of the largest procurement exercises of its kind in Australia.

So far, solar and battery storage systems – capable of storing 950kWh of electricity – have been installed alongside air conditioning systems with smart controls at 24 schools taking part in the first stage of the Smart Energy Schools pilot.

These 24 systems have been switched on and are cutting electricity emissions by an average of 30% and cutting electricity costs by more than $14,000 each month.

Work to install the solar and battery systems at a further 29 schools is now also underway as Stage 2 of the pilot, with those systems expected to be brought online progressively from early 2023.

Another seven schools that had solar and battery systems installed as part of the Smart Batteries for Key Government buildings initiative will also take part in the pilot.

A school-based power plant

“The project is testing solar and battery energy storage systems at 60 schools across the state and the feasibility of operating them as part of a virtual power plant,” says NSW education minister Sarah Mitchell.

“We want to reduce our state’s carbon emissions, cut school electricity costs and help students to learn more about renewable energy, and these programs are an exciting opportunity for schools to benefit from renewable energy technology.

“NSW Public Schools have the roof space and it is a no brainer that we look at how we can start utilising that space to benefit NSW energy market,” Mitchell said.

The EOI process, which forms part of Stage 3 of the pilot, will seek proposals to finance, install and operate solar and battery systems across the state’s remaining public schools, potentially as part of a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

School Infrastructure NSW is expecting proponents to focus on models where they lease the roof space, finance, install and maintain the solar and battery systems and sell the energy back to the schools under an off-take agreement.

Proposals could also include management of electric vehicle charging and other behind the meter solutions, as well as the operation of the systems via a Virtual Power Plant.

Image supplied Huge potential

Beyond saving money and cutting electricity emissions, the establishment of a Smart Energy Schools VPP has huge potential, considering NSW public schools consume about 345,000 megawatt-hours of electricity a year.

It is estimated that the roughly 21,700 buildings at 2,200 public schools in the state with around 8 million square metres of roof space could host up to 145MW of solar energy – the equivalent to a large-scale solar farm – all with added battery storage and smart controls.

The smart controls, in particular, will investigate the potential use of demand response controls to reduce the schools’ peak demand and avoid costly upgrades to the electricity network.

“With roof space equivalent to around 500 Sydney Cricket Grounds … this exercise will help us harness the power potential of our schools,” said NSW energy minister Matt Kean.

“We have to be smart about how we finance and operate these resources so we maximise the financial returns for NSW and help make the electricity system more secure.”

Non-binding proposals received during the EOI will be shortlisted in early 2023. The short-listed proposals will be considered as part of a potential future large scale roll out across the NSW public school asset portfolio.

Interested participants should go to to register their interest and participate in an online briefing session.

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From: Eric11/16/2022 2:37:28 PM
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US battery maker unveils solid-state storage systems for residential applications

Amptricity has emerged from stealth mode with plans to manufacture solid-state batteries for residential and commercial installations.

November 16, 2022 Anne Fischer

Distributed Storage
Energy Storage
Energy Storage
Residential PV
Technology and R&D
United States

Amptricity's 12 kWh residential unit

Image: Amptricity


From pv magazine USA

Amptricity has announced what it says is the first solid-state battery for home energy storage. The company plans to deliver its first solid-state energy storage systems of up to 4 GWh or up to 400,000 homes within the next 30 months. Commercial 1 MWh demo units are available now to select customers, with an announcement coming in the next few weeks on full commercial production.

The company, which was founded in 2020 and based in Florida, plans to build its first US manufacturing facility by 2024. The company expects to begin producing 4 GW per year in 2024 and then ramp up to 16 GW. It is reviewing manufacturing site locations in Texas, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona and Tennessee.

Amptricity reports that its next-generation battery technology represents eight-hour discharge, simultaneous charging and discharging, no thermal runoff, zero toxicity, 100% recyclable, fully functional in extreme cold and hot temperatures, and high energy storage efficiency with an annual retention rate of more than 96%. Its proprietary solid-state batteries include a cell capacity above 500 Ah (amp-hour) up to 3,000 Ah with an 11,000-deep discharge cycles.

The company says its home energy storage systems create greater safety and longevity, while the average residential systems use lithium-ion batteries, which pose a fire risk. Furthermore, its battery lifespan is three times longer than current lithium-ion technologies, the company reports.

“Solar PV homeowners will love our solid state energy storage systems because they offer superior performance and are non-explosive, non-flammable, non-toxic, and 100% recyclable. For example, last year in Texas, homeowners suffered blackouts and fatalities from a winter storm due to the power grid’s fragility,” said Damir Perge, CEO and co-founder of Amptricity. “With Amptricity’s solid state technology, homeowners can store energy for backup power – whether they have solar PVs or not.”

Residential energy storage systems of 12 kWh to 48 kWh and commercial systems from 60 kWh to 80 kWh are available for preorder on Amptricity’s website.

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From: Eric11/17/2022 9:03:44 AM
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AGL begins process of powering up Torrens Island battery, biggest in South Australia

Sophie Vorrath 17 November 2022 10

Image: AGL Energy LinkedIn

AGL’s 250MW/250MWh Torrens Island battery – on track to overtake the original Tesla big battery at Hornsdale to be the biggest in South Australia once complete – is one step closer to “full functionality,” after getting the all-clear to start the energisation process.

After breaking ground on the project almost exactly a year ago, AGL said on Wednesday it had received permission from the Australian Energy Market Operator to start energising the battery’s 275kV cable and main transformer.

“That means the battery’s auxiliary equipment can now be progressively energised to facilitate commissioning, a key step before connecting the battery itself,” AGL said in a LinkedIn post.

As RenewEconomy has reported, the $180 million big battery will feature just one hour of storage in its first stage, with a focus on the provision of grid services rather than storing and shifting wind and solar generation.

The 250MW big battery, sized initially at one hour storage but likely to expand to up to four hours storage (1,000MWh), is being built at the site of AGL’s ageing Torrens Island gas plant, where the generators are progressively being shut down or mothballed.

The battery will also act as a “grid forming battery inverter” – one of the biggest in the world, to date – with the ability to operate as a “virtual synchronous machine.”

Big plans for big batteries

For AGL, the Torrens Island battery is the first of many that the gen-tailer is rolling out; it also marks the first step in the re-purposing of the Torrens Island gas facility into a new “energy hub” that will also feature green hydrogen electrolysers.

Further big battery projects include the 50MW/50MWh facility in Broken Hill, on which the company broke ground just this month.

AGL is also planning batteries at its Loy Yang A coal power station in Victoria (200MW), and at its soon to be closed Liddell coal power station in NSW – a project that was recently upsized to 500MW and up to four hours of storage, or a total of two gigawatt hours.

See RenewEconomy’s Big Battery Storage Map of Australia.

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From: Eric11/22/2022 8:54:41 AM
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Europe’s biggest big battery, a Tesla Megapack project, powers up

Joshua S Hill 22 November 2022 0

Image: Harmony Energy

A 98MW/196MWh Tesla Megapack battery energy storage system has been brought online in England, making it the biggest of its kind in Europe by megawatt-hours.

Developed by UK-based renewable energy developer Harmony Energy Limited, construction of the Pillswood battery energy storage system (BESS) was managed by Tesla.

Pillswood is located adjacent to National Grid’s Creyke Beck substation, the same connection point which has been proposed for both 1.2GW phases of the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank.

It is expected, then, that Pillswood will play a significant role in ensuring the continued efficiency of Dogger Bank, storing some excess electricity from the wind farm and minimising curtailment.

The project was originally intended to become operational over two phases in December 2022 and March 2023, but the timetable has accelerated to support National Grid in its efforts to provide stable and secure power to UK households over the challenging winter period.

Harmony says it is the first of six similar projects the trust intends to deliver in the coming year.

“Battery energy storage systems are essential to unlocking the full potential of renewable energy in the UK, and we hope this particular one highlights Yorkshire as a leader in green energy solutions,” said Peter Kavanagh, director of Harmony Energy.

“These projects are not supported by taxpayer subsidy and will play a major role in contributing to the Net Zero transition, as well as ensuring the future security of the UK’s energy supply and reduced reliance on foreign gas imports.”

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From: Eric11/25/2022 11:50:05 AM
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AGL to close big gas power station as switch to 100 per cent renewables marches on

Giles Parkinson 24 November 2022 21

The new Torrens Island battery, with gas plant in background. Photo: AGL

AGL Energy has announced the early closure of the ageing Torrens Island B gas generator, the latest casualty of the accelerating switch to a renewables dominated grid in South Australia.

The 800MW Torrens B facility has already closed one of its four 200MW units, and will now close all of them by June 30, 2026, when the facility turns 50 years old. It had been scheduled to close around 2035.

The older 480MW Torrens A facility has already closed, and the latest closure move continues the work of transforming the facility into a low carbon industrial energy hub, including a 250MW, one hour battery that is now nearly complete.

The exit of Torrens B, first switched on in 1976, marks the further retreat of gas-fired generation as the share of renewables grows to more than two-thirds of demand, and with the rise of battery storage and the building of a major new transmission link to NSW.

The Australian Energy Market Operator and the local transmission network has installed four synchronous condensers that are spinning machines that do not burn fuel, but can provide many of the traditional grid services once delivered exclusively by fossil fuel generators.

Battery storage will also be able to deliver many of those same services.

The switching on of the syncons has dramatically reduced the amount of gas that is burned to make power for South Australia’s grid, and AGL says the closure date will coincide with the planned full connection of the new $2.3 billion Project EnergyConnect link to NSW.

It also marks the further shift away from so-called “baseload” power, with the closure of the last of the state’s coal fired generators in 2016, and the growing uptake of renewables and distributed energy.

Torrens B had for most of its time in operation operated at a capacity factor of around 30 per cent, average for such “combined cycle” gas power stations, but in the last 12 months this dropped well below 20 per cent for the three units still in operation.

That meant Torrens B was less used than the smaller 480MW Pelican Point gas generator in terms of output. Its status as the biggest gas generator in the state had ended a while ago.

Torrens B output. Source: OpenNEM.

“This decision follows careful consideration and extensive consultation with stakeholders, including the South Australian Government,” AGL said in a statement.

“This has been driven in part by the planned completion of the Project EnergyConnect interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales in mid-2026, which will further impact gas-fired generation in South Australia and as a result the economic viability of the power station.

AGL is going through its own internal transition, pressed by billionaire activist shareholder Mike Cannon-Brookes, who has helped stop a planned demerger of the company, accelerated its planned exit from coal (now 2035), and put forward four new independent directors to the board.

South Australia is the state at the pointy end of Australia’s green energy transition, already boasting a share of wind and solar over more than 66 per cent over the past year, and likely to reach net 100 per cent renewables soon after the new link to NSW is complete.

It has plans to go much further than that, with a series of large wind and solar projects jockeying for position in the anticipated green hydrogen market, with government plans for that sector expected to be rolled out soon.

AGL says it has invested $475 million in major energy projects on Torrens Island in the last four years, including the 210MW Barker Inlet Power Station, a fast start facility which opened in 2019, and the 250MW Torrens Island battery, which is expected to be operational mid 2023.

It notes that the battery – initially sized at one hour storage but with the potential to grow to four hours of storage – will provide crucial firming capability and system security to the grid. AGL has also recently announced a feasibility study into the development of a green hydrogen facility at Torrens Island.

The energy hub model is also being applied to AGL’s other fossil fuel generation centres, including at Liddell in NSW, which is due to close in April next year, and at Loy Yang in Victoria, expected to close by 2035.

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From: Eric12/8/2022 4:46:59 PM
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Research team takes on lithium-ion tech with sodium-sulphur battery

Researchers from the University of Sydney have created a new sodium-sulphur battery which they say provides four times the energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries and is far cheaper to produce, providing the potential to dramatically reduce energy storage costs.

December 8, 2022 David Carroll

Technology and R&D
Utility Scale Storage
New South Wales

The key ingredient in the battery is sodium-sulphur, a type of molten salt that can be processed from sea water.

Image: ARENA


An international team of researchers led by academics from the University of Sydney are hoping that a new sodium-sulphur (Na-S) battery, which they claim offers “super-high capacity and ultra-long life” and is far cheaper to produce than the dominant lithium-ion technology, will significantly reduce the cost of transitioning to a decarbonised economy.

Sodium-sulphur batteries have long possessed high potential for grid-scale stationary energy storage due to the low cost and high theoretical energy density of both sodium and sulphur. They have however been viewed as an inferior alternative and their widespread use has been limited by low energy capacity and short life cycles.

To overcome these limitations the research team has implemented a simple pyrolysis process and carbon-based electrodes to improve the reactivity of sulphur and the reversibility of reactions between sulphur and sodium.

The researchers said their battery displayed “unprecedented cyclic stability” and rate performance with a high initial capacity and a low-capacity decay rate of 0.05% per cycle over 1,000 cycles at room temperature.

Lead researcher Dr Shenlong Zhao from the University of Sydney’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering said the battery has been specifically designed to provide a high-performing solution for large renewable energy storage systems, such as electrical grids, while significantly reducing operational costs.

The key ingredient in the battery is sodium-sulphur, a type of molten salt that can be processed from sea water which ensures the battery costs much less to produce than the lithium-ion alternative. The researchers said the Na-S battery is also less toxic than lithium-ion batteries.

“This is a significant breakthrough for renewable energy development which, although it reduces costs in the long term, has had several financial barriers to entry,” Zhao said.

“When the sun isn’t shining and the breeze isn’t blowing, we need high-quality storage solutions that don’t cost the Earth and are easily accessible on a local or regional level.

“Storage solutions that are manufactured using plentiful resources like sodium, which can be processed from sea water, also have the potential to guarantee greater energy security more broadly and allow more countries to join the shift towards decarbonisation.”

The academics said the lab-scale batteries have been successfully fabricated and tested in the university’s chemical engineering facility and there are plans to improve and commercialise the cells.

The research paper, involving contributions from researchers at University of Adelaide, University of Wollongong, China’s Chongqing University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the University of Science and Technology China, was published in Advanced Materials.

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From: Eric12/8/2022 5:39:06 PM
   of 530
Neoen nails planning approval for 4 GWh Collie battery

French renewable energy giant Neoen has secured development approval to build a 1 GW /4 GWh big battery in Western Australia as the state government seeks to ramp up energy storage capacity to support its planned transition from coal-fired power to renewables.

December 8, 2022 David Carroll

Energy Storage
Utility Scale Storage
Western Australia

Neoen expects the Collie battery will be operational “by or before 2025.”

Image: Neoen


Western Australia’s (WA) Regional Joint Development Assessment Panel and the Shire of Collie Council have approved Neoen’s plan to develop a stand-alone 1 GW /4 GWh battery energy storage system (BESS) near the coal town of Collie in the state’s southwest.

Neon said the project will include five individual 200 MW/800 MWh battery compounds with a total combined output of 1,000 MW/4,000 MWh. The project will be constructed in 200 MW/800 MWh stages “to meet the progressive increase in demand for energy storage.”

Construction of the first stage of the project is expected to commence in 2023 with Neoen predicting the facility will be operational “by or before 2025.”

Once completed, the first 200 MW/800 MWh stage of the Collie Battery will have the theoretical capacity to service the average energy needs of 260,000 households for an hour and will also stand ready to pump power into the grid in the event of a shortfall from other electricity generators, providing vital system security for WA’s main electricity network, the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

“There is significant potential for the project to address intermittencies in energy supply due to the ability of utility-scale battery facilities to respond quickly to fluctuations in the grid,” the company said. “The project will also support the state’s objectives to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”

The battery is to be built on a 31-hectare site about 12 kilometres northeast of Collie, approximately 215km southeast of Perth, and will connect into the transmission network via the nearby Shotts Terminal substation.

Neoen said the facility will typically charge during the day while there is excess energy generation and discharge during peak periods, helping to maintain a secure and reliable energy supply when WA ends its reliance on coal-fired power stations.

“With the retirement of the Muja and Collie power stations by 2030, this project will provide vital system security,” the company said. “The aim is to provide short-duration storage in the peak times to ease pressure on the grid.

“The battery will be able to provide grid stability and other grid services which will also encourage more integration of more renewable energy into the network.”

Neoen’s 300MW/450MWh Victoria Big Battery began operations in December 2021.Image: Energy Victoria

Neoen has more than 2.5 GW of renewable assets in operation or under construction in Australia, representing more than $3 billion in investment. The company intends to reach 5 GW in Australia by 2025.

Included among its portfolio is the now 150 MW/194 MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, the world’s first big battery.

It also built the 300 MW/450 MWh Victorian Big Battery which came online in December 2021, and is also developing several other big batteries in Australia, including the 100 MW/200 MWh Capital battery outside Canberra, a 300 MW/800 MWh battery near Blyth in South Australia, and a 500 MW/1000 MWh battery to be built near Wallerawang west of Sydney. It has also submitted a development application for a of 200 MW/400 MWh battery facility to be built near Chittering in WA.

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