French renewable energy company Neoen has begun construction on its 200 MW/400 MWh Western Downs Battery in Queensland, Australia, after providing notices to battery storage experts Tesla and balance of plant contractor UGL.
The battery will consist of Tesla Megapack systems and will be located within Neoen’s Western Downs Green Power Hub, next to its nearly completed 460 MW solar farm. Electricity transmission system operator Powerlink will deliver the connection works, including a dedicated high-voltage line which will connect the battery to the transmission network.
The battery, which is expected to start operating in the summer of 2024/25, will be used to modernize and stabilize the Queensland grid, providing a range of services including transmission network support and frequency control. Neoen will be the long-term owner and operator of the asset.
The project has also received support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's (ARENA) recently announced Large Scale Battery Storage Funding Round. This will allow the battery to be equipped with grid-forming inverter technology, allowing it to deliver essential system stability services traditionally provided by synchronous generation such as coal and gas.
The Western Downs Battery is Neoen's fourth big battery in Australia and brings its total storage portfolio in the country to 776 MW/1279 MWh. Neoen already owns and operates the 150 MW/193.5 MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, the 300 MW/450 MWh Victorian Big Battery in Geelong, whilst its 100 MW/200 MWh Capital Battery is currently under construction in the Australian Capital Territory.
Louis de Sambucy, Neoen Australia’s Managing Director, said, “We are thrilled to be pressing ‘go’ on the Western Downs Battery, building upon our Western Downs solar farm which is nearing completion. We would like to thank Tesla, UGL and Powerlink for their dedication and commitment, and ARENA for their trust and support. We are extremely proud to now have a big battery in four of the five states of the National Electricity Market.”
Neoen also has a storage portfolio of 842 MW/1341 MWh globally and a total capacity of over 6 GW in operation or under construction worldwide. It aims to reach a capacity of 10 GW by 2025.