RENEW ECONOMY: Genex switches on its first big battery project on time and on budget

Genex Power says it has turned on its first storage facility this week, a 50MW/100MWh Tesla battery storage facility in Bouldercombe near Rockhampton in Queensland that it says has been built on time and on budget.

Energisation, the term for switching on infrastructure such as transformers and connecting a new facility to the grid, is the final milestone before the lengthy commissioning process which is set to be complete by October, in time for the summer demand peaks.

The two-hour Bouldercombe Battery will be focused on frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) and will also earn additional revenue from energy arbitrage, under a unique revenue sharing deal with Tesla.

The total capital spending budget was $60 million including finance costs and contingency funds, and Genex says it’ll come in on target.

It will be the second utility scale battery to be opened in Queensland, after the bigger 100MW/150MWh Wandown South big battery that opened last year.

“This is a significant milestone for Genex as it marks the start of the commissioning of our first battery project,” said Genex CEO James Harding in a statement.

“Given the acceleration of the clean energy transition over the past 12 months, the successful connection of the project will support the further penetration of renewable energy in the state.”

The battery is located next to the 275kV/132kV Bouldercombe substation, owned by transmission line operator Powerlink. The location was chosen as a midpoint between the renewables rich area in North Queensland and the load centres at Gladstone and the south.

Tesla supplied the 40 Megapack units which arrived in March, and is also the offtaker. It will use its Autobidder software to maximise revenues and will take a guaranteed minimum, while Genex will pocket most of the upside during volatile markets and price spikes.

Genex is the last listed wind solar and storage company in Australia and reported its first net profit in February, thanks to a jump in earnings from its solar farms at Kidston in north Queensland and Jemalong in western NSW.

It is also building the 250MW, eight hour storage (2,000MWh) pumped hydro system at the old Kidston gold mine, which is slated to begin operating at the end of 2025. It is the first privately owned pumped hydro project to be built in Australia for nearly four decades.

Genex is also looking at up to 2GW of battery storage and solar capacity at the Bulli Creek project in Queensland that it bought last year, where it plans to build a 400 MW battery with two hours of storage.

Read more at Renew Economy

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