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Equis lodges application for 200MW/800MWh Queensland BESS project


APAC region-focused infrastructure developer and investor Equis is seeking approval for a 200MW/800MWh battery storage project in Queensland, Australia.

The Singapore-headquartered company filed a development application before the end of 2022 for its proposed Lower Wonga Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project with the Gympie Regional Council local authority.

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The system would connect to the Queensland grid via transmission line to the existing 275kV Woolooga Substation of network operator Powerlink.

Like other BESS projects of its type in Australia, the standalone lithium-ion facility would enable the integration of higher shares of renewables onto the grid and aim to help stabilise and suppress volatility in electricity pricing for consumers.

Equis actually began submitting proposals for the project as early as February 2022, before beginning discussions with the Queensland State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA).

According to the project’s 487 pages of planning materials posted on the Gympie Regional Council’s website for public display, the project will be located within the Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone (Queensland REZ). This is one of many areas of Australia designated by state governments to host multiple renewable energy projects with energy storage across different technologies where appropriate.

The local area has already seen approvals for four large-scale solar PV power plants, including one with 350MW of PV and associated BESS infrastructure, and another large-scale solar farm development by LightsourceBP.

Equis has filed for a development permit for a material change of use of the site’s land and a development permit to reconfigure a lot, for a lease of land exceeding seven years. The BESS will occupy a footprint of 7 hectares, including 640 battery enclosures and 80 inverters, 4 Aux transformers and 2 high-voltage transformers.

In November last year, Equis announced that it wants to develop what would be Australia’s biggest BESS project to date, the Melbourne Renewable Energy Hub (MREH) in the state of Victoria. MREH would host 1,200MW/4,200MWh of battery storage.

Equis claimed its design would be unique in featuring six separate 200MW connection points into the National Electricity Market (NEM) via the 500kV transmission network. Helping to reduce Victoria’s reliance on coal generation, the MREH project would also like Lower Wonga be sited in a REZ.

Equis Australia is backed by Equis Development. The company formed in 2019 following its relaunch as an infrastructure developer after the sale of the original Equis fund management platform. Equis Development focuses on renewable energy and hybrid gas projects in Asia’s developed markets, with Australia, South Korea and Japan its main markets.

In addition to MREH and Lower Wonga, the company has two other Australian large-scale BESS projects in development as listed on its website: Calala BESS in Tamworth, New South Wales with a planned output of 300MW and 1,200MWh capacity, and another 200MW/800MWh project, Koolunga BESS in Brinkworth, South Australia.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 1st Energy Storage Summit Asia, 11-12 July 2023 in Singapore. The event will help give clarity on this nascent, yet quickly growing market, bringing together a community of credible independent generators, policymakers, banks, funds, off-takers and technology providers. For more information, go to the website.

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