Queensland’s Energy Grid Is Getting a Tesla-Powered Boost

Queensland’s Energy Grid Is Getting a Tesla-Powered Boost

Energy solutions company Neoen is expanding the size of its planned Western Downs battery in Queensland on Barunggam country, up to 270MW/540MWh, while the original plan was to have the battery operate with 200MW/400MWh capability.

If the name ‘Neoen’ is ringing any bells, it’s probably because it was one of the companies behind the Tesla Big Battery in South Australia back in 2017, which remains one of the biggest lithium-ion batteries in the world. Today, Neoen operates five lithium-ion batteries across Australia, with a sixth in development in Western Australia. The company has also been the recipient of a handful of contracts from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

And now, one of the batteries that ARENA originally provided funding for back in December 2022, with construction beginning in January 2023, is getting an upgrade. The upgrade will be carried out by construction group UGL, with extension equipment delivered by Tesla.

The battery leverages the network of Neoen’s Western Downs Green Power Hub, which is home to what is expected to be Australia’s largest solar farm, with a capacity of 460MWp (unless Sun Cable has anything to say about that).

“We are delighted to be expanding the Western Downs Battery, demonstrating our willingness to play an increasingly central role in Queensland’s rapid decarbonisation. We would like to thank Tesla, UGL, and Powerlink for their hard work and ongoing commitment to delivering this project. We are thrilled to have big batteries operating or under construction in 5 Australian states and territories,” Neoen Australia’s CEO Louis de Sambucy said.

It’s hoped that with this upgrade, the Western Downs battery will be more important in Queensland’s shift to green energy. Keep in mind that we’ve still got quite a bit to go – in 2022, renewable energy accounts for 35.9 per cent of Australia’s entire energy production, according to the Clean Energy Council. This was up from 32.5 per cent in 2021, but let’s try and get closer to 100 per cent.

Neoen’s Queensland battery is expected to commence operation in the Summer of 2024/2025.

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