Why We Are Seeing Batteries Built Around Australia
Origin Energy has recently announced their plan to build what would be Australia’s largest battery at their coal-fired power plant site Eraring, south of Newcastle, N.S.W.
The proposed battery has a capacity of 7000-MW – 4 times larger than the Tesla battery in South Australia!
Batteries are used to store excess power generated and can be drawn upon in times of need. The bigger the battery, the more energy it’s able to store and distribute into the power grid.
Why is Origin Energy doing this? Well, the company has a goal to transition away from coal-fired power generation by 2032. The site at which they are building this new battery is their last owned coal plant, which is destined to be decommissioned by 2032.
Origin Energy are not the only company to make a recent large battery announcement. A 300-MW battery to be built near Geelong was announced in November, 2020 by French company ‘Neoen’. That battery could store enough power to supply over 1 million Victorian homes for over half an hour.
But why would we need these batteries to store and supply power when the grid already does this? That’s because as our country transitions its energy generation scene to become more reliant on renewables, it needs back up options. Renewable energy sources such as solar may need a helping hand overnight, and these batteries provide a place for their excess energy to be stored and distributed. It will also help to reduce our carbon emissions.
There is a proposed 7,000-MW of battery storage across Australia. That would provide enough power to supply energy to 3.5 million homes for 2.5 hours!
Origin’s 700-MW battery is hoping to complete phase 1 of building by end of 2022, and is just one part of an overall trend of transitioning to renewables.