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Shell Energy is planning to build a 500MW/1,000MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on the site of the old Wallerawang Power Station near Lithgow, in partnership with Greenspot.

The BESS will be known as ‘Wallerawang 9’, acknowledging decades of operation of units 1 through 8 within the site, and honouring the role Lithgow has played in meeting the nation’s energy needs.

Shell Energy will be responsible for the grid connection process and, subject to a Final Investment Decision, is planning to build, own and operate the battery on 20 hectares of land to be leased from Greenspot.

A further 200 hectares of the 620-hectare site has been identified by Greenspot as an employment hub for a range of future facing and high-tech industries.

Greenspot CEO, Brett Hawkins, said, “The greater Lithgow region has contributed to powering NSW for nearly 70 years.

“As the economy decarbonises, and new energy technologies are adopted, it is critically important that strategies are implemented to attract a range of new businesses to areas like Lithgow which have traditionally relied heavily on coal-based industry.”

Shell Energy CEO, Greg Joiner, said he is looking forward to working with Greenspot on the project.

“Battery energy storage has a vital role to play in the energy transition by supporting renewable generation and contributing to improved reliability for the grid and consumers. Shell Energy is proud to take an important step forward in NSW’s energy future, particularly in helping regional communities such as Lithgow continue to play a role when energy is increasingly decarbonised.”

Greenspot obtained development approval for the BESS, which will connect to the adjacent 330kV Wallerawang Substation, which has historically facilitated the transmission of coal-fired electricity generation to the grid.

“Proximity to the high-voltage transmission network, access to major road, rail transport and significant existing and proposed water infrastructure, and proximity to high-integrity data networks, makes the Wallerawang site highly competitive to attract the investment needed to propel the local economy forward,” Mr Hawkins said.

“Targeted collaboration between the private and public sectors, community groups and educational institutions will be essential in ensuring that intergenerational employment opportunities continue to be available here in Lithgow.”

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