Construction on WA’s second big battery on the way

Image credit: Synergy's Twitter

The McGowan Government has allocated $2.3 billion towards new battery energy storage systems in the 2023-24 budget, including a second, larger system at the Kwinana site, after the government announced the first large-scale battery storage system is ready to charge and discharge energy into the grid.

The proposed big battery will provide 200 megawatts (MW) of capacity with 800-megawatt hours – four times the energy storage of stage one.

A further battery system will be developed in Collie, which the government claimed will be one of the biggest battery systems in the world – providing around 500 MW for up to four hours.

The second Kwinana big battery is expected to be operational by late 2024.

The 100 megawatt/200 megawatt-hour battery in Kwinana, which can store enough energy in reserve to power 160,000 households for up to two hours, was provided by the McGowan administration through Synergy.

The system, whose development required more than 200 workers, will now go through a number of charge and discharge tests before to connecting to the network later this year.

Premier Mark McGowan stated that the government is taking steps to provide Western Australia with a greener, more affordable, and dependable energy transition.

“Battery storage systems will be critical to our energy future, allowing us to harness our rooftop solar resources to meet power needs during peak times,” the premier said. 

McGowan noted that with the Kwinana big battery now in operational testing, the state is switching to an even bigger battery on site with four times the capacity.

“It will make our existing electricity system more secure, support the continued uptake of renewables, and set up our State for the long-term,” he said.

Energy Minister Bill Johnston said these battery energy storage systems will be essential for controlling household energy consumption and promoting the use of domestic solar.

“We are committed to delivering cleaner and more reliable power to help us reach our ambitious emissions reduction targets,” Johnston remarked. 

The state budget also commits $126 million for power network planning and upgrading to accommodate additional renewable energy on the grid.

A total of $368 million will be invested in new large-scale wind energy-producing projects at King Rocks and close to Eneabba.