Synergy has announced it has received development approval for the Kwinana Big Battery project.
Expected to be Australia’s second-biggest battery, the 100-megawatt big battery will cover an area equivalent to around 20 tennis courts and have the capacity to power 160,000 homes for two hours. It will be located at Synergy’s Kwinana Power Station.
Western Australia’s energy sector is experiencing a rapid transformation, with a major uptake of large-scale renewables and rooftop solar. One in three households now have rooftop solar panels and this is expected to rise to 50 per cent of households by 2030.
Increased pressure on WA’s electricity system and inaction could result in significant blackouts in the coming years. The Kwinana Big Battery is expected to support the integration of more renewable energy and improve grid security.
It will be able to be charged during the day, when the sun is shining and energy is plentiful, and discharge this energy during the afternoon and evening peak when energy is most needed.
In announcing the project last year, Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, said: “It’s important we support the rapid electricity transformation that’s happening right now and energy storage systems, like this big battery, have a crucial role to play in providing better energy and job outcomes for the WA community.”
“This project will set WA up for the long haul, and ensure Western Australia continues to recover from COVID-19, stronger than ever.”
Energy Minister Bill Johnston also commented: “This big battery will help address the ‘duck curve’ by absorbing surplus energy in the middle of the day, when solar generation is high, and discharging energy during peak times.”
“Battery storage is proving to be a versatile solution to network challenges; this big battery will complement Western Power’s roll-out of community batteries, which are providing additional support and improved power quality to local homes and businesses.”
A Synergy spokesperson today said the company is committed to exploring new and emerging technologies, such as battery storage and distributed energy resources, to address current market challenges and provide innovative solutions for the Western Australian community.
“The battery project will enable Synergy to optimise the use of its existing generation assets and provide network and system services to increase system security, providing a more sustainable, reliable and effective power supply to the wider region.”
“The development approval has occurred prior to a final investment decision and the awarding of an engineering, procurement and construction contract, which is expected to be announced in September,” the spokesperson said.
“Synergy would like to thank its project team for their dedication and Perth-based planning practice Planning Solutions for their guidance and assistance to achieve this important milestone.”