By HARRY CLARKE
TECHNOLOGY developed by the world’s second richest person, celebrity billionaire Elon Musk, will soon begin operating on Queensland’s Western Downs as construction of a Tesla battery near Chinchilla finalises and testing plans begin.
The Queensland Government has spent $150 million installing a Megapack battery system at the site of CS Energy’s 750MW coal fired Kogan Creek Power Station about 20km south east of Chinchilla.
The site is now being called the Kogan Creek Clean Energy Hub, with coal fired power generation continuing while the government invests in renewable energy initiatives such as Tesla’s “Chinchilla Battery” and a green hydrogen demonstration plant.
Eighty battery packs developed by the Musk-owned international tech giant Tesla will store wind and solar energy generated throughout the day to be distributed to Queensland households during the peak evening periods.
During the evening energy demand peak the battery will be able to discharge 100MW of electricity, which is enough to power 30,000 homes for two hours.
Each Tesla Megapack arrived at site ready to install with fully integrated battery modules, inverters and thermal systems. The battery will be connected to the grid via Powerlink’s 275 kV Western Downs substation.
“The Kogan Creek Clean Energy Hub helps deliver on the commitment contained in of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan,” said Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick.
“We’re able to deliver storage like this that helps firm renewable generation because of Queensland’s publicly owned power companies.
“Across Queensland, renewable energy projects like this are supporting more skilled jobs in regional communities.”
WATCH: Tesla Megapack battery system at Kogan Creek Clean Energy Hub. VIDEO: Supplied
Construction contractor Downer spent more than $3 million on local suppliers and subcontractors in the Western Downs including Western Downs Civil, Healy Contracting, South Queensland Soils, Brandon & Associates, Ison Haulage and Fyfe.
Testing and commissioning of the Chinchilla Battery will be carried out later this year and the battery is expected to be operational in late 2023.
CS Energy Acting CEO Andrew Varvari said the battery project was part of the company’s strategy to build a more diverse energy portfolio, meet customers’ requirements and support Queensland’s future energy policy.
“Batteries are fast and flexible, with the ability to ramp up and down quickly to support the stability of the power and reduce wholesale price volatility.
“When operational, the Chinchilla Battery will charge during the day when there is often a surplus of solar energy and then release it back into the grid when it is needed the most.”
Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni added: “Because Queenslanders have kept their energy assets in public hands, the Palaszczuk Government is able to set out a pathway to progressively convert all publicly owned coal-fired power stations into Clean Energy Hubs by 2035.”
“The Kogan Creek Clean Energy Hub is the most advanced in the state, with construction to begin soon on its second project – the Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant,” he said.
“These clean energy hubs are a key element of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, diversifying the generation technology at our publicly-owned coal-fired sites and enabling local communities and workers to be partners in the energy transformation.”