Neoen has announced the expansion of its Western Downs Battery in Queensland, which will have a total installed capacity of 270 MW / 540 MWh.
The expansion will be delivered by Tesla and construction contractor UGL who commenced construction of the initial stage of the project in January 2023.
The project is located on Barunggam country near the town of Chinchilla in South West Queensland.
With its greater capacity, the battery intends to play an even more central role in Queensland’s rapidly accelerating energy transition which is resulting in a growing need for storage and related network services.
Western Downs Battery, consisting of Tesla Megapack 2XL units, leverages the existing infrastructure of Neoen’s Western Downs Green Power Hub. The Hub includes Australia’s largest solar farm at 460 MWp capacity, which has recently been commissioned.
The will be capable of performing a range of network services to the Queensland grid, including firming renewables, providing frequency services and transmission network support.
With support from ARENA’s Large Scale Battery Storage Funding Round, the battery will ultimately be equipped with grid-forming inverter technology, allowing it to provide essential system stability services.
Queensland’s transmission network operator Powerlink will be delivering the project’s connection works and a dedicated high-voltage line into the Western Downs substation.
Powerlink Queensland CEO Paul Simshauser said: “Batteries will continue to play a critical role in the changing generation mix as we work towards a low emissions future.
“Increasing the capacity of Neoen’s Western Downs Battery to store Queensland’s valuable wind and solar resources will help keep the grid in a secure operating state and offer greater stability to Queenslanders.”
The battery is expected to start operating in the Australian summer of 2024/25.