Sunday, September 24, 2023

Alinta Energy announces plans to build large battery in Western Australia

Alinta Energy has announced plans to build a large battery alongside a diesel and gas plant and an aluminum refinery in Western Australia. The 100 MW battery with a storage capacity of two hours (200 MWh) will be built at the Wagerup power station next to the Alcoa refinery of the same name. The goal of the project is to stabilize the power grid and provide emergency power in the Southwest Interconnected System, the largest microgrid in the world.

The Wagerup Battery is the second private battery project to win an order from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to help address Western Australia’s supply challenges. Like the Collie battery project, the Wagerup battery will absorb solar energy during the day and release it during the evening or night peak.

Construction of the Wagerup battery will begin immediately and is expected to be operational in the second half of 2024. This project replaces Alinta’s previous plans to build a 350-MW cogeneration plant on the site. With the increasing use of renewable energy, large batteries have become more important for grid stability, especially for the south-west grid.

Western Australia’s first large battery, the Kwinana Battery, owned by Synergy, has recently become operational. Other off-grid batteries have also been deployed at backcountry mine sites. Alinta Energy is planning other renewable energy projects in remote and regional areas of Western Australia, including a proposed solar farm and large battery in Port Hedland.

Alinta Energy highlights the collaboration between key partners such as Western Power and AEMO to ensure a smooth transition to renewable energy in south-west Western Australia. The Wagerup battery will be connected to the power station’s existing infrastructure and will contribute to the grid’s stability and backup capacity if required.

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