Billion dollar battery for Eraring Power Station

Power station to install country’s biggest storage battery

Origin Energy is moving ahead with plans to install a battery, the biggest of its type in Australia, at its Eraring coal-fired power station, on the shores of Lake Macquarie.

The battery would be used to store 700 megawatts of electricity from any source, including solar, wind, gas, as well as the coal-fuelled turbines, and send that power into the grid when needed.

With an estimated investment by Origin of more than a billion dollars, the Eraring battery project is currently the largest in Australia, in the move to drive down emissions and transition towards renewables, cleaner systems and more reliable electricity supply.

Origin has sought an Expression of Interest to suitably qualified companies to supply and install the large scale battery.

A Connection Enquiry has also been lodged with service provider TransGrid to connect the battery to the national grid via the Eraring substation.

Eraring is Australia’s largest power station supplying about a quarter of NSW’s energy needs and is Origin’s only coal-fired generator.

It is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2032 and this 700-megawatt battery will allow Origin to use existing infrastructure and network connections long after the power station has stopped producing electricity by burning coal.

The battery will also support the NSW energy grid’s transition away from fossil fuels and the entry of new solar and wind projects in coming decades.

Origin Executive General Manager, Energy Supply and Operations, Greg Jarvis, said the battery at Eraring supported Origin’s decarbonisation objectives as well as recent NSW energy policy announcements to transition to renewable energy.

“A large-scale battery at Eraring will help us better support renewable energy and maintain reliable supply for customers by having long duration storage ready to despatch into the grid at times when renewable sources are not available,” he said.

“It will support Origin’s orderly transition away from coal fired generation by 2032.”

Operation of the battery is expected to be established over three stages, with the first being reached by late 2022, and full operation by 2026.

Sue Murray