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The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has selected French renewable energy producer Neoen to build a 197MW battery energy storage system (BESS) in Western Australia (WA).

This contract to build the battery with a four-hour storage capacity was won in a competitive tender launched by the Western Australian co-ordinator of energy.

The battery system is part of the first stage of development of the 219MW/877MWh Collie battery and will consist of 224 Tesla Megapack 2XL units.

The project was originally proposed by Neoen in 2021. It received development approval for 1GW/4GWh in December 2022.

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By GlobalData

It will be located near the town of Collie in the southwest region of WA.

The battery will be able to store 197MW of energy for four hours. Its long-duration storage will help in the transition to renewable energy, addressing the risks related to the retirement of coal power plants and the increasing penetration of rooftop solar in the state.

The battery will be charged during the day and discharged during the peak usage period in the evenings.

As Neoen’s first major project in WA, the project illustrates its strategy to increase investment in storage technologies.

Power from the battery system will be transmitted to Western Power’s Shotts Terminal substation, part of the South-West Interconnected System (SWIS), which is one of the networks on the Australian east coast.

Battery supplier Tesla and construction contractor UGL will now begin construction on the BESS.

The system is expected to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2024.

The project is expected to create more than 120 jobs during construction, as well as unlocking opportunities for local suppliers.

Neoen Australia CEO Louis de Sambucy stated: “We are delighted to have won an NCESS contract and would like to thank AEMO, Western Power and the WA government for placing their trust in us. This is an exciting time for Neoen as it is our first major project in WA, and it also means we now have a big battery in five of the six Australian states.

“With our growing team in Perth and a strong pipeline of projects, we look forward to playing an increasingly significant role in the state’s rapid decarbonisation.”