Neoen said yesterday that its 100MW / 200MWh battery storage project in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is underway, after the developer issued a notice to proceed to its construction partners Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction and Doosan GridTech.
France headquartered renewable power producer Neoen, which owns and operates the renewable energy and energy storage assets it develops, was awarded a contract to build and own a battery energy storage system (BESS) facility of at least 50MW by the ACT’s state government.
The government selected Neoen through a competitive solicitation in its fifth Renewables Reverse Auction. When it announced the winners in September last year, the government noted that the tender had delivered significantly lower prices than previous auctions, averaging less than AU$50 (US$36) per megawatt-hour.
Neoen was awarded the battery storage project together with a 14-year contract for 100MW of wind power in its Goyder Renewables Zone project, as reported by Energy-Storage.news at the time. It was Neoen’s fourth ACT renewables auction win.
The developer said that since the original commitment was made to building a 50MW BESS, market demand for battery services has already surged, leading it to double the size of the project, called the Capital Battery.
“We are thrilled to see construction commencing on the Capital Battery,” ACT Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury said.
“The doubling of battery capacity to 100 MW is a great commitment and indicates the confidence in the market and the important role of batteries in modernising and stabilising the electricity network.”
The BESS can play multiple roles for the energy network, firming renewable generation, providing frequency response services and supporting the transmission network. It will be built at a site adjacent to transmission operator TransGrid’s Queanbeyan substation.
The company picked out Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co and its subsidiary Doosan GridTech to construct the Capital Battery and provide the operations and optimisation technology.
The pair, both part of South Korea’s Doosan Group, will provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services and a 20-year operations and maintenance (O&M) programme. Doosan GridTech will supply its Intelligent Controller tech, which will allow it to perform the various arbitrage and grid services functions.
The Capital Battery is expected to be online by the middle of 2023, supporting the ACT’s targeted shift to carbon neutrality by 2045. The region’s electricity supply already went 100% renewable during 2020, which minister Shane Rattenbury said was “achieved largely through solar and wind energy contracts, including a number of contracts with Neoen”.
“This switch to renewable electricity has played a vital role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the ACT. It has also resulted in positioning Canberra as a centre of excellence in renewable energy and stimulated a very welcome level of investment in the ACT.”
Neoen is behind some of Australia’s biggest battery projects to date, which are also among the biggest in the world, including the 150MW / 193.5MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, and the recently-commissioned 300MW / 450MWh Victorian Big Battery in Victoria.