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EnergyAustralia is seeking expressions of interest from businesses to work on the development of the Wooreen Energy Storage System, a new battery storage facility in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.  

The project will be Australia’s first four-hour utility-scale battery of 350MW capacity by 2026, which will be larger than any battery operating in the world today.

EnergyAustralia COO, Liz Westcott, said, “Co-located with EnergyAustralia’s Jeeralang gas-fired power station, the Wooreen Energy Storage System (formerly named Jeeralang Battery) will provide cover for more than 230,000 Victorian households for four hours before being recharged. 

“Its quick release during periods of high demand will provide immense value in maintaining supply and keeping costs down for customers.

“Beginning mid-September, expressions of interest will open for businesses that are able to engineer, procure and construct our new battery storage facility that will become integral to Australia’s modern energy system.

“Our future preferred contractor will help to maximise local participation within the Latrobe Valley and broader Gippsland region by drawing on the expertise of neighbouring suppliers and construction personnel.”

Ms Westcott said that since the project’s announcement in March 2021, EnergyAustralia has been undertaking preliminary feasibility studies that look at technical requirements and potential environmental impacts, as well as close consultation with the local community, including Latrobe City Council and the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC).

“EnergyAustralia operates on Aboriginal land, so it’s important that we work with GLaWAC to ensure we have Traditional Owner input into how we respect Country and culture,” Ms Westcott said. 

“We are extremely grateful to Aunty Doris Paton, and with the help of GLAWAC, for their blessing to officially name our battery project Wooreen, which is Gunaikurnai for the word, light.

“We are now embarking on a more comprehensive program of talking and hearing from members of the local community about the Wooreen project. 

“We understand that any project we pursue must be good for the community and the environment.”

The Wooreen Energy Storage System is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of 2026, ahead of Yallourn’s closure in mid-2028. 

The project will provide an economic boost for the Gippsland region while helping to secure Victoria’s energy supply and enable more renewables to enter the system.

EnergyAustralia will name the engineering, procurement and construction partner in the first quarter of 2023. 

Meanwhile, the project’s planning and environmental investigations will continue through the remainder of the year with a planning application expected to be made to the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in the first quarter of 2022.

As of 20 September 2021, interested EPC contractors can register using the TenderLink Portal; the event ID is ‘AU-987758’.

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