First CATL batteries installed in WA’s biggest utility scale storage project

The first CATL batteries have been installed on what will be the biggest utility scale battery storage project in Western Australia’s main grid, the most isolated grid of its size in the world.

The 100MW/200MWh Kwinana battery is owned by state-owned utility Synergy, and will feature 600 CATL battery units, believed to be the biggest mandate for that company in Australia to date.

The first installations were witnessed by state premier Mark McGowan and energy minister Bill Johnston, both keen to promote the state’s plans to invest $3.8 billion in new renewable energy infrastructure, and a further 1,100MW of storage to be delivered through Synergy.

“Increasing energy storage over the next decade will be crucial to addressing system security risks, such as high levels of rooftop solar generation, and ensuring reliable power supply to Western Australia’s main electricity grid,” Johnston said..

“The lithium-ion iron phosphate big battery will be the size of one-and-a-half soccer fields, and will be connected to the Western Power network.”

The battery will be designed to absorb excess energy from rooftop solar and discharge when it is most needed, during the late afternoon and evening peak. It will also provide system stability services.

The installation of more than 600 battery units will take approximately eight weeks and create 140 jobs during the construction phase. The battery is expected to be fully operational before the end of the year.

It is the first big battery to be installed on WA’s main grid, which is the world’s most isolated grid of its size. Other big batteries have been built to support mining operations and also in the private networks in the Pilbara.

McGowan noted that the battery is being built by NHOA – the storage subsidiary of the Engie group – which has established its regional headquarters in Perth.

“The big battery forms part of our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, and will support the transition of WA’s electricity grid to higher levels of renewables and storage,” McGowan said.

“WA is a very attractive place to invest, and has the potential to become NHOA’s western gateway to the Asia pacific region – helping diversify our economy and support jobs.”

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