September 15, 2021

EnergyAustralia has called for expressions of interest in the development of Australia’s first four-hour utility-scale battery of 350 MW capacity by 2026 in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, which will be larger than any battery operating in the world today.

Chief Operating Officer Liz Westcott said: “Co-located with EnergyAustralia’s Jeeralang gas-fired power station, the Wooreen Energy Storage System (formerly named Jeeralang Battery) will provide cover for more than 230,000 Victorian households for four hours before being recharged. Its quick release during periods of high demand will provide immense value in maintaining supply and keeping costs down for customers.

“Beginning mid-September, expressions of interest will open for businesses that are able to engineer, procure and construct our new battery storage facility that will become integral to Australia’s modern energy system,” Liz said.

“Our future preferred contractor will help to maximise local participation within the Latrobe Valley and broader Gippsland region by drawing on the expertise of neighbouring suppliers and construction personnel.”

Liz said that since the project’s announcement in March, EnergyAustralia has been undertaking preliminary feasibility studies that look at technical requirements and potential environmental impacts, as well as close consultation with the local community, including Latrobe City Council and the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC).

“EnergyAustralia operates on Aboriginal land, so it’s important that we work with GLaWAC to ensure we have Traditional Owner input into how we respect Country and culture. We are extremely grateful to Aunty Doris Paton, and with the help of GLAWAC, for their blessing to officially name our battery project Wooreen, which is Gunaikurnai for the word, light.

“We are now embarking on a more comprehensive program of talking and hearing from members of the local community about the Wooreen project. We understand that any project we pursue must be good for the community and the environment,” Liz said.

The Wooreen Energy Storage System is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of 2026, ahead of Yallourn’s closure in mid-2028. The project will provide an economic boost for the Gippsland region while helping to secure Victoria’s energy supply and enable more renewables to enter the system.

EnergyAustralia will name the engineering, procurement and construction partner in the first quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, the project’s planning and environmental investigations will continue through the remainder of the year with a planning application expected to be made to the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in the first quarter of 2022.

As of 20 September 2021, interested EPC contractors can register using the TenderLink Portal; the event ID is ‘AU-987758’.

Note to editors:

  • Earlier this year, EnergyAustralia announced bringing forward the closure of the Yallourn power station to mid-2028, underpinned by a multimillion-dollar package to support Yallourn workforce and a commitment to the Wooreen Energy Storage System.
  • The company currently operates two utility-scale battery storage systems in Victoria. The stand-alone Ballarat terminal station and co-located Gannawarra solar farm battery assets represent a combined storage of 80 MWh.
  • Through long-term renewable energy agreements, worth almost $3 billion, EnergyAustralia currently underpins around 6.5 per cent of the large-scale wind and solar projects in the National Electricity Market.