Big Batteries Projects For Queensland And Northern Territory

Huge battery systems could be installed in QLD and NT reasonably soon – and one may be bigger than what is currently the world’s largest operating lithium-ion battery storage facility, which is located in South Australia.

NT Battery Project EOI

There’s just 10 days to go for companies to register expressions of interest in a large-scale battery venture in the Territory; the Darwin – Katherine Alternative Energy Storage System Project.

There’s been a lot of interest in the EOI, which was issued by Territory Generation. Among the prospective tenderers listed are:

  • ABB Australia Pty Limited
  • Belectric GmbH
  • BYD Auto Industry Company Limited
  • ElectraNet Pty Limited
  • Mitsubishi Australia Limited
  • Origin
  • Schneider Electric Australia
  • Siemens Ltd
  • Tesla
  • .. and dozens of others.

According to an ABC report, the project will involve a 25 to 45 megawatt battery that will be used to help support renewable energy generation and boost energy security.

The Northern Territory government has aspirations of achieving 50% renewables by 2030, with solar power to be a critical element.

Bigger Battery For Queensland?

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Neoen, a partner in SA’s Hornsdale Power Reserve, is investigating building another large Powerpack based energy storage facility at Neoen’s Kaban Green Power Hub, a 130MW wind farm to be constructed near the town of Ravenshoe.

While the Kaban Green Power Hub web site states “battery storage of up to 100MW”, Bloomberg has speculated the system could eclipse the capacity of the Powerpack plant in South Australia (100MW/129MWh).

Tesla apparently won’t comment on the project at this stage, so perhaps we’ll just have to wait until Elon Musk tweets about it.

Utility Scale Solar + Battery Storage Bids

In other energy storage related news from overseas, Carbon Tracker recently revealed how much the cost of electricity from utility scale solar PV + battery storage has dropped (or is expected to drop) in the U.S. state of Colorado. Information gained from Xcel Energy on bids it had received indicated a median bid price of USD $36/MWh for solar + storage.

While acknowledging there are important unknown details concerning the bids, including storage capacity details, Carbon Tracker notes:

“.. the median solar plus storage bid could be lower than 74% of operating coal capacity.”

The median bid for solar PV only was USD $29.50/MWh, suggesting that perhaps not a huge amount of storage is involved in the solar + battery projects. However, some of the plants associated with accepted bids may not be online until 2023, so developers could be looking ahead and estimating energy storage cost reductions over the next couple of years.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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