Vena Energy to build Queensland’s biggest battery

Photo: Vena Energy Australia

An AGL Energy and Vena Energy collaboration will see one of Australia’s biggest batteries built near Wandoan in Queensland.

The massive lithium ion battery will be capable of delivering 100 megawatts of energy into and out of the National Energy Market, and storing up to 150 megawatt hours of energy.

AGL Energy and Vena Energy Australia have signed a 15-year agreement to deliver and operate the battery. As the user of the battery, AGL will have full operational dispatch rights, and as the owner of the battery, Vena Energy Australia will build and maintain the asset.

Vena Energy CEO, Nitin Apte, said the battery build will begin in July and take about a year to complete. It will be capable of supplying up to 57,000 homes with energy.

“The battery energy storage system is the first major milestone in our $650 million Wandoan South Project, which has the potential to supply up to 400,000 Queensland households with solar energy,” Apte said.

“Once the battery is built, Vena Energy Australia plans to keep the momentum moving and aims to begin work on a solar farm at the same site in 2021.”

According to Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Anthony Lynham, the battery will be the biggest in Queensland.

“Climate-change deniers criticise renewable energy for not being available when the sun doesn’t shine and wind doesn’t blow: batteries are a game-changer,” Lynham said.

“This battery is the first step in Vena Energy’s bigger plans to deliver up to 1000 megawatts of solar energy in Queensland.”

AGL CEO Brett Redman said the battery would also complement the company’s renewable projects.

“This battery will support our massive Coopers Gap Wind Farm, which will be producing up to 453 megawatts of energy when all 123 wind turbines are up and running,” Redman said.

“AGL will also be able to leverage excess solar generation in Queensland and provide capacity when the Coopers Gap Wind Farm and other renewable power sources are not generating.”

Dr Lynham said Queensland already had three large-scale batteries operating: at Lakeland Solar Farm in Far North Queensland, at Kennedy Energy Park near Hughenden, and one at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Another in Townsville is expected to be operating next month.

“Queensland has seen $4.7 billion worth of investment in renewable energy projects since December 2016, creating 4200 jobs,” he said.

“Queensland now has almost 5500 megawatts of renewable generation capacity.”

“Batteries are next, and all of this investment demonstrates industry’s strong confidence in Queensland’s growing clean energy industry.”

“It’s all ensuring that we remain well on track to reach our target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.”