Australia’s New South Wales state government has granted planning permission for two new grid-size batteries. They supply a total of 540 MWh of energy storage capacity to support the state’s rapidly changing energy market.
Sydney-based battery developer Firm Power has been granted development consent for the proposed Muswellbrook Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), a 150MW/300MWh self-contained battery in New South Wales.
The project is to be built in the designated Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) on land owned and managed by New South Wales grid operator Ausgrid. The plan aims to connect to the grid via the existing Ausgrid Muswellbrook substation.
The New South Wales Government has also given the green light to Melbourne-based developer ACEnergy to build the planned Aspley BESS about 60km south of Dubbo in the coordinated Central West Orana REZ. The project will develop a separate battery with a maximum capacity of 120 MW/240 MWh, as well as a new 132 kV power line that would be connected to the existing power line on the east side of the project area.
ACEnergy expects to reach financial close on the project early next year, and both batteries are expected to be operational by the end of 2025, according to the state government. New South Wales Energy Minister Penny Sharpe said the batteries would help balance the grid and support performance. and deployment of renewable energy in the state in the future.
“Giving the green light to these batteries will play a critical role in ensuring reliable, renewable energy across (New South Wales),” he said. “
The state government’s renewable energy roadmap calls for at least 12 GW of renewable energy generation and 2 GW of energy storage by 2030 to replace the state’s aging coal-fired power plants.
Mr Sharpe said there were currently 27 large scale renewable energy, transmission line and storage projects under review in the New South Wales planning system. If approved, they would produce 9 GW of renewable energy and 5.5 MW of solidification storage.