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Vena Energy Australia achieves financial close for QLD’s biggest energy storage system

Vena Energy Australia has achieved financial close for Queensland’s biggest battery energy storage system (BESS), capable of discharging up to 100 megawatts (MW) and storing 150 megawatt hours of energy, equivalent to powering up to 57,000 Australian homes.

Construction of the $120 million Wandoan South BESS commenced in October, after awarding the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract to Doosan GridTech Australia. This milestone follows the 15-year deal signed by Australian energy generator and retailer AGL for full operational dispatch rights for what will be Queensland’s biggest battery, and the second largest in Australia.

“We are delighted to be delivering the first stage of Vena Energy’s Wandoan South Project in the Western Downs region of south-west Queensland,” said Anil Nangia, Head of Vena Energy Australia.

“The Wandoan South BESS represents the first milestone of Vena Energy’s overarching Wandoan South Project, approved to generate up to 650 MW of solar electricity, and 450 MW of energy storage across several stages”.

Mr Nangia also highlighted that Vena Energy is proud to be utilising regional resources, encouraging local employment and procurement opportunities as part of the 12-month construction program, with the labour force anticipated to be 70 strong during peak construction.

“We look forward to participating in the transition towards renewable energy in Queensland by delivering the Wandoan South BESS in the heart of the Western Downs. The BESS represents a step change in Queensland’s transition to a cleaner energy future and will lead the way for more investment in Queensland’s adoption of renewable energy,” he concluded.

Doosan GridTech Australia General Manager, Adrian Marziano, said the BESS would be controlled by Doosan’s DG-IC control system, built on open standard interfaces and capable of meeting the rigorous requirements of the Australian National Electricity Rules.

“The controller is the intelligence of the BESS system, allowing for the coordination of complex schedules and operating modes within the facility’s system platform,” Mr Marziano said.

AGL Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof said that AGL was very pleased that financial close has been achieved on this 100 MW/ 150 MWh battery.

“As part of our agreement, AGL will have full operational dispatch rights once it begins operating in 2021, providing critical support to our growing portfolio of energy storage assets,” Brokhof said.

“Grid-scale batteries like Wandoan South BESS allow AGL to leverage excess solar and wind generation in Queensland while providing capacity when renewable sources are not generating,” Brokhof noted.

In Australia, Vena Energy is progressing over 2.5 gigawatts of renewable energy projects across the country. The Wandoan South BESS will be the first construction milestone of the Wandoan South Project. In 2019 Vena Energy successfully commissioned a 95 MW solar project at Tailem Bend in South Australia, and Stage 2 of the Tailem Bend Project is anticipated to begin construction in the near future.

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