Queensland’s first big battery registered, ready for charging

Power substation

Queensland’s first big battery has received registration from the Australian Energy Market Operator, allowing it to begin charging. Located in Wandoan South, the project will deliver grid services as well as wind and solar power for client AGL Energy.

The battery, known as the Wandoan South BESS (battery energy storage system), is currently undergoing final testing before it begins partial operations in the coming weeks. Final installations are still ongoing but the Wandoan South BESS is expected to be in full operation by October.

Owned by Vena Energy, the battery features a capacity of 100MW/150MWh making it around the same size as the original Tesla Big Battery in Hornsdale, South Australia, which was the largest of its kind in the world at the time of its installation.

Battery experts have suggested the big battery could have helped soften the impact of the Callide coal generator explosion in May of this year, which resulted in blackouts across the state, had it been operational at the time. With a 250 millisecond response time, the Wandoan South BESS could have offered near-synchronous support to the grid.

While the Wandoan South BESS is the first big battery in Queensland, a number are in the planning stages as the state government works to avoid a similar fallout from the Callide incident in future. The project has spanned a 12-month construction timeline, with a cost of $120 million boosting the local economy.

The project’s client AGL has a number of its own batteries planned, alongside another it currently contracts in South Australia as it pushes towards renewable energy and dispatchable power. The company plans to close the Liddel coal generator it operates in New South Wales, with a big battery plant planned to take over the site.

The registration of the Wandoan South BESS follows the registration of Australia’s largest battery earlier this week. The Victorian Big Battery has similar plans to begin partial operations as early as this week as its installation continues.

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