Neoen expands Western Downs Battery to 270MW/540MWh

Aerial photo of dusty ground and construction at Neoen's Western Downs Battery site
Western Downs Battery site (Image: Neoen)

Renewables producer Neoen has announced the expansion of its Western Downs Battery, which was initially planned at 200MW/400MWh but will now have a total installed capacity of 270MW/540MWh.

The extension will be delivered by Tesla and construction contractor UGL (a member of the CIMIC Group) who commenced construction of the initial stage of the project in January 2023. The project is located on Barunggam country near the town of Chinchilla in South West Queensland.

Related article: Neoen appoints UGL for Western Downs big battery

With its greater capacity, the battery intends to play an even more central role in Queensland’s rapidly accelerating energy transition which is resulting in a growing need for storage and related network services.

Western Downs Battery, consisting of Tesla Megapack 2XL units, leverages the existing infrastructure of Neoen’s Western Downs Green Power Hub. The hub includes Australia’s largest solar farm at 460 MWp capacity, which has recently been commissioned.

Queensland’s transmission network operator Powerlink will be delivering the project’s connection works and a dedicated high-voltage line into the Western Downs substation. The battery is expected to start operating in the Australian summer of 2024/25.

Western Downs Battery will be capable of performing a range of network services to the Queensland grid, including firming renewables, providing frequency services and transmission network support. With support from ARENA’s Large Scale Battery Storage Funding Round, the battery will ultimately be equipped with grid-forming inverter technology allowing it to provide essential system stability services.

Neoen Australia managing director Louis de Sambucy said, “We are delighted to be expanding the Western Downs Battery, demonstrating our willingness to play an increasingly central role in Queensland’s rapid decarbonisation. We would like to thank Tesla, UGL and Powerlink for their hard work and ongoing commitment to delivering this project. We are thrilled to have big batteries operating or under construction in five Australian states and territories.”

Related article: Neoen to build first long-duration battery in Western Australia

Neoen chairman Xavier Barbaro said, “I would like to thank the Neoen Australia team for building Queensland’s most powerful battery. It illustrates once more our commitment to accelerating investment in battery storage, with durations that are capable of delivering a wider range of services and solutions. A leading player in storage, with deep expertise built across many years, Neoen is unlocking the full potential of renewables. We are proud to be making an increasingly valuable contribution to a clean energy future for Australia and the rest of the world.”

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