Maoneng seeking approval for Gould Creek battery

BESS proposed for Gould Creek (battery)
Proposed BESS at Gould Creek in South Australia (Image: Maoneng)

Maoneng Australia has filed a development application for a $112.5 million 225MW battery energy storage system (BESS) in Gould Creek, South Australia, saying the utility-scale battery will facilitate the rising penetration of renewables into the grid while also providing stability for the energy market, PV Magazine reports.

The application proposes the construction of a 225MW/450MWh BESS on a 30-hectare site at Gould Creek, 20km north of Adelaide.

The Gould Creek BESS project would dwarf Tesla’s 150MW/194MWh ‘big battery’ at Hornsdale. Maoneng has not yet specified the makeup of the batteries it intends to build but said the BESS will provide enough energy to support up to 40,000 households at peak hours.

An operations and maintenance building will also be constructed on the secured site, alongside a 33/220kV substation. The Gould Creek project will connect to the high voltage 275kV transmission grid via ElectraNet’s existing Para Substation, located less than 100m away from the proposed construction site.

The project, slated for completion in 2023, has already received support in principle from the state government. The development application report, prepared by engineering and energy consultancy firm GHD, claims that the project will be critical to ensuring the stability of the grid as it transitions to renewable energy.

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“The proposed BESS represents a critical electrical infrastructure to the state,” GHD stated in the DA.

“As South Australia transitions to a greater share of intermittent renewable energy sources, grid stability facilities such as grid-scale batteries are required to ensure the safe and reliable provision of electricity. The system will support the safe and efficient operation of South Australia’s energy grid.”

The Gould Creek BESS is another addition to the growing list of big batteries in the pipeline for the National Electricity Market and South Australia, including a 250MW/250MWh battery being constructed by energy giant AGL at Torren Island Power Station in South Australia.

The Gould Creek project adds to Maoneng’s Australian portfolio, which includes a deal to develop four large-scale 50MW/100MWh batteries in New South Wales for energy giant AGL. The deal includes a 15-year contract that will allow AGL to call on capacity from the batteries at a fixed price, with the batteries expected to be installed by 2023.

That project adds to the 300MW solar offtake deal Maoneng signed with AGL in 2017, under which AGL sources energy from the 200MW Sunraysia Solar Farm in southwestern New South Wales, among other solar projects.