Tesla Unveils New Battery System
Tesla Unveils New Battery System

Tesla in running to supply Rocky’s ‘big battery’ project

A HOUSEHOLD name around the world, American clean energy company Tesla is one of the short-listed candidates being considered to supply batteries to Queensland's first large-scale storage battery to be built near Rockhampton.

Keenly aware of the surge of renewable energy in Queensland's power grid over the past five years and with more renewable energy projects like the Clarke Creek Wind Farm on the way, energy development company Genex Power is racing ahead of the curve to deploy its $50 million Como battery storage project.

While not willing to give away the exact location of the project beyond saying it would be situated next to a substation on the "outskirts of Rocky", Genex Power executive director Simon Kidston said they were in the midst of narrowing down their options to supply their 50MWh-75MWh lithium ion battery.

BATTERY PLAN: Genex Power is looking to build the Como Battery Project at a substation near Rockhampton similar to this 30MW/30MWh Ballarat Battery in Victoria.
BATTERY PLAN: Genex Power is looking to build the Como Battery Project at a substation near Rockhampton similar to this 30MW/30MWh Ballarat Battery in Victoria.

"We've short-listed down to three battery suppliers - Tesla plus two others - and we're just doing an evaluation to select the best supplier, technically and commercially," Mr Kidston said.

"In the next few weeks, we'll announce who that party is.

"Then we'll continue with the connection process with Powerlink who own the substation we're connecting in to and that will culminate sometime next year with an offer to connect with Powerlink.

"The intention is to have all the work completed by the second quarter of next year, so by June 2021, we would expect to be in a position where we could complete the financing and commence the construction."

Genex Power Executive Director Simon Kidston is confident that Rockhampton’s Como Battery Project will be a winner.
Genex Power Executive Director Simon Kidston is confident that Rockhampton’s Como Battery Project will be a winner.

He expected 40 to 50 jobs to be created during the construction period.

Mr Kidston said Queensland's energy market dynamics are similar to those in Victoria and South Australia who operate five profitable batteries between them.

"It's because of that rapid growth of renewables, the volatility of energy prices because of those renewable projects and also the need for the grid to be more stable, which batteries and assist with," he explained.

As the state pursued its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, he said Queensland was experiencing a huge growth in wind farms and solar farms generating intermittent energy while the sun shone and the wind blew.

RENEWABLE POWER: Lacour Energy Director James Townsend (left) and Goldwind Managing Director John Titchen at the Clarke Creek Wind Farm.
RENEWABLE POWER: Lacour Energy Director James Townsend (left) and Goldwind Managing Director John Titchen at the Clarke Creek Wind Farm.

 

"What that means is that we're now getting a lot of grid stability issues and also price volatility - the prices go up and down quite dramatically in the wholesale market based on how much wind and how much solar is actually generating at any particular time," he said.

"Now is an ideal time to install a battery and make a profit out of it because batteries can charge or discharge into the grid within milliseconds so if there's a sudden reduction of wind or solar energy, and the price goes up as a result, we can then instantly start generating."

He said another of their revenue streams would come courtesy of the grid operator AEMO.

"They pay generators that can provide services to the grid that can stabilise the grid and batteries can provide that service," he said.

"It basically enables more wind and solar to be connected to the grid because the grid is more stable by virtue of having the battery.

"I would say over the next 10 years there will be a bunch of these batteries being developed."


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