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NSW Government speeding up battery connection to electricity grid

The NSW Government is accelerating the rollout of major battery projects across the state to boost electricity reliability and to keep the lights on in NSW.

$8.4 million in new funds have been awarded to Transgrid and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to hire more engineers.

This enables them to fast-track grid connections for four battery projects of more than 100 megawatts  each.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Penny Sharpe said the government is committed to accelerating the replacement of electricity infrastructure and funding additional staff.

“The funding to AEMO and Transgrid will reduce the risk of connection to the grid being delayed and help to address the reliability risks identified in AEMO’s recent report.

“These batteries will ensure consumers in NSW have access to affordable and reliable electricity sooner.”

The total capacity of these projects is equivalent to supplying approximately 800,000 households with energy during a peak demand event.

The most recent AEMO report forecasts increased reliability risks in NSW from 2024 to 2028.

These risks are largely driven by retiring coal plants and renewables failing to come online to fill the gap.

These large batteries will play a critical role in delivering affordable, reliable energy in NSW.

They will store renewable energy during sunny and windy periods and will supply that electricity to the energy grid during peak demand.

The projects that could benefit from the grants include:

  • Waratah Super Battery – 850 MW, 2-hour storage duration
  • Liddell Battery Energy Storage System – 500 MW, 2-hour storage duration
  • Orana Battery Energy Storage System – 415 MW, 4-hour storage duration
  • Richmond Valley Battery Energy Storage System – 275 MW, 8-hour storage duration.

This investment will bring forward completion dates of these priority battery projects by as much as 12 months.

Connecting projects to the grid is highly technical and a lack of qualified staff can cause delays.

Transgrid will use a $3.2 million grant to fund extra technical staff on grid connections to reduce the risk of delays.

The company will also establish two dedicated ‘squads’ of engineers, technicians and customer support staff, to provide additional grid connection application support.

AEMO will receive up to $5.2 million for additional staff to project manage the grid connection process.

They will coordinate with Transgrid and other project proponents to get the supported battery projects up and running by 2025-2026.

The funding for these battery projects is one of many measures the NSW Government is putting in place to deliver affordable, reliable energy for the people of NSW.

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