Neoen’s Hornsdale Power Reserve, with Tesla batteries, under construction.

Western Australia will soon be home to one of the world’s biggest batteries, a 197MW battery at Collie, with its four hour storage duration capacity tender officially awarded to Neoen. 

The Non-Co-optimised Essential System Services (NCESS) contract to build the 197MW battery was awarded to Neoen by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), following a competitive process initiated with the State Government.

The big battery will be one of the first batteries in the world providing four hours of long-duration storage.

The service will be delivered by Stage one of Collie Battery, sized at 219MW/877MWh and consisting of 224 Tesla Megapack 2XL units. The project, which Neoen originated in 2021, received development approval for a total of 1GW/4GWh in December 2022. 

Expected to be completed construction and operation by the summer of 2024-25, it will be the next battery to be connected to the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) and be a significant boost for the security and reliability of the South-West’s electricity grid, especially during the evening peak periods.

Western Australia Energy Minister, Bill Johnston, said, “I warmly welcome the investment by Neoen in the State’s energy market, which represents a key component of the Cook Government’s Energy Transformation Strategy.

“While the Western Australia Government is replacing its coal-fired energy capacity with renewable infrastructure through Synergy, it is also critical for the private sector to take up the opportunity of participating and benefitting from the State’s energy transition.

“Big batteries like this one will help smooth out the peaks and troughs in the South West Interconnected System by storing energy during times of low demand and releasing it into the grid in times of peak demand.

“It will complement Synergy’s new battery at Kwinana and the $2.3 billion investment announced in the recent State Budget for further battery storage capacity in the SWIS.”

Neoen is one of the world’s leading producers of renewable energy. The Collie Battery will be its sixth big battery in Australia.

Industry response

Neoen Australia CEO, Louis de Sambucy, said the company is delighted to have won a NCESS contract and thanked AEMO, Western Power and the WA Government for their trust. 

“This is an exciting time for Neoen as it is our first major project in Western Australia, and it also means we now have a big battery in five of the six Australian states. With our growing team in Perth and a strong pipeline of projects we look forward to playing an increasingly significant role in the state’s rapid decarbonisation.” 

Energy Policy Western Australia Coordinator of Energy, Jai Thomas, said, “The NCESS process run by AEMO was created through the Western Australian Government’s Energy Transformation Strategy, and it is great to see Neoen’s Collie Battery progress as a result of these reforms. 

“Big batteries like this one will help balance the needs of the energy system by enabling us to take advantage of more of our plentiful renewable energy resources.” 

AEMO CEO, Daniel Westerman, said that as Western Australia’s major electricity system transitions away from coal-fired generation, critical investments are needed in low-cost renewable energy backed by firming generation, such as batteries and gas, and augmentation of the transmission network. 

“Neoen’s Collie Battery, procured through AEMO’s NCESS process, will provide consumers with energy security and reliability during the transition to firmed renewables,” Mr Westerman said. 

Western Power CEO, Sam Barbaro, said Western Power is working collaboratively with proponents to ensure that it expedites the transition of the network to a sustainable energy system that paves the way for community and industry to reach their decarbonisation goals. 

“Connecting renewable energy solutions, such as Neoen’s large scale battery, are critical to unlocking a cleaner energy future, that allows renewable resources to be effectively harnessed and utilised to meet the community’s power needs now and into the future,” Mr Barbaro said. 

Neoen Chairman Chief Executive Officer, Xavier Barbaro, congratulated the Neoen team on achieving this outcome. 

“This project perfectly demonstrates our ability to rapidly provide solutions to the market and we are thrilled to start delivering longer duration battery services.”

“Neoen is incredibly proud to be one of the world’s true pioneers in battery storage, with a global portfolio of over 1.3GW/2.6GWh, and to be making a major contribution towards a more sustainable energy future.” 

The SWIS electricity grid supplies Perth and more than one million homes and businesses between Geraldton and Esperance and east to Kalgoorlie.

The Collie Battery will directly create more than 120 construction jobs, as well as many new opportunities for suppliers in the Collie region.

Featured image: Neoen’s Hornsdale Power Reserve, with Tesla batteries, under construction. Image courtesy of Neoen.

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