Shell Energy Australia is partnering up on – and will connect to the grid – a 500MW/1GWh BESS (Battery Energy Storage System), to be built on the site of the old Wallerawang Power Station near Lithgow, New South Wales (NSW).

Wallerawang power station site. Courtesy Shell

Shell plans to build, own and operate this Wallerawang 9 battery, which will sit within the Wallerawang power station site, where two 500MW coal-fired generating units were decommissioned in 2014.

The battery is being developed by Greenspot, a privately owned NSW group, which was established to acquire and repurpose property assets primarily from the fossil fuel industry.

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.

“The greater Lithgow region has contributed to powering NSW for nearly 70 years,” said Greenspot CEO Brett Hawkins. “As the economy decarbonizes, 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 chief executive officer Greg Joiner emphasized the importance of battery energy storage within the energy transition, as it is a key asset for supporting renewable generation and “contributing to improved reliability for the grid and consumers.”

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,” added Hawkins.


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