Construction of Collie BESS, the largest battery storage in Australia begins

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Synergy, Western Australia’s largest energy retailer and generator with more than one million industrial, commercial and residential customers, has announced the start of construction of Collie BESS, the largest battery energy storage system in the country.

The start of construction comes approximately 3 months since the project was approved for construction next to the 300 megawatts Collie coal-powered power plant in Collie, South Western region of Western Australia in December 2023.

The 500MW/2000MWh capacity system with the potential to be expanded to 1 GW / 4 GWh in the future is the latest project from Synergy. The company plans to build a total of 3GWh of energy storage systems in the country by 2025. In May 2023, Synergy delivered Kwinana Battery Stage One which is currently providing power to the South West Interconnected System.

Kwinana Battery Stage Two is another one of its BESS projects. The latter is at the moment under construction and is due to be completed in late 2024. Collie BESS on the other hand is set for delivery in 2025 at a cost of roughly $1 billion.

Upon completion, Australia’s largest battery storage system will utilize modularized batteries with a life expectancy of 20 years. It will mop up excess energy from rooftop solar projects and discharge the power in the evening when electricity demand is usually high.

Noteworthy, the four-hour capacity facility will meet approximately 64% of the state’s new energy storage capacity announced back in June 2022.

Collie BESS project team

Collie battery energy storage system is developed by Synergy, a corporation owned by the Government of Western Australia. The state government is funding the project as part of the state’s accelerated transition to renewables. This transition is driven by the huge opportunities on the table from switch to green energy – for industry, mines and consumers – and by the urgent need to replace ageing coal generators.

Other companies behind the development of the largest battery energy storage system in Australia are Cardinal Contractors, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) and Power Electronics. Cardinal Contractors is an earthmoving and heavy haulage company headquartered in Collie, Western Australia, AU. The company was recently awarded the contract to complete site preparation earthworks for the Collie BESS project.

CATL on the other hand is a Chinese battery manufacturer and technology company that specializes in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems, as well as battery management systems (BMS). In 2023 the company was awarded a contract to supply 650 EnerC Plus containerized liquid-cooling battery systems for the Collie BESS project.

In the same year, Synergy also contracted Power Electronics to supply 160 inverters for the project. Headquartered in the USA, Power Electronics is the world’s leading battery energy storage system provider and the first manufacturer of solar inverters for utility-scale photovoltaic plants in America, Oceania and Europe.

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