Equis lodges application for 200MW/800MWh Queensland BESS project

Equis lodges application for 200MW/800MWh Queensland BESS project

The delivery of Equis’ proposed MREH project in Victoria, which with its planned 2.4GWh capacity would be Australia’s largest BESS to date. Image: Equis.

APAC region-focused infrastructure developer and investor Equis is seeking approval for a 200MW/800MWh battery storage project in Queensland, Australia.

The Singapore-headquartered company has submitted a development application for its proposed Lower Wonga Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project to the Gympie Regional Council local authority before the end of 2022.

The system will connect to the Queensland grid via transmission line to the existing 275kV Woolooga substation of network operator Powerlink.

Like other BESS projects of its kind in Australia, the stand-alone lithium-ion facility will enable the integration of greater shares of renewable energy onto the grid and aims to help stabilize and dampen volatility in electricity prices for consumers.

Equis actually began submitting proposals for the project as early as February 2022, before discussions with the Queensland State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) began.

According to the project’s 487 pages of planning material posted on the Gympie Regional Council website for public viewing, the project will be located within the Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone (Queensland REZ). It is one of many areas of Australia designated by state governments to host various renewable energy projects with energy storage across different technologies where appropriate.

The local area has already received approval for four large-scale solar PV power plants, including one with 350MW of PV and associated BESS infrastructure, and another large-scale solar farm development by LightsourceBP.

Equis applied for a development permit for a material change of use of the site’s land and a development permit to reconfigure a site, for a lease of land in excess of seven years. The BESS will cover a footprint of 7 hectares, including 640 battery enclosures and 80 inverters, 4 Aux transformers and 2 high-voltage transformers.

In November last year, Equis announced that it wanted to develop what would be Australia’s largest BESS project to date, the Melbourne Renewable Energy Hub (MREH) in the state of Victoria. MREH will house 1,200 MW/4,200 MWh of battery storage.

Equis claimed that its design would be unique in containing six separate 200MW connection points into the National Electricity Market (NEM) via the 500kV transmission network. To help reduce Victoria’s reliance on coal-fired generation, the MREH project also wants Lower Wonga to be located in a REZ.

Equis Australia is backed by Equis Development. The company was founded in 2019 following its relaunch as an infrastructure developer following the sale of the original Equis fund management platform. Equis Development focuses on renewable energy and hybrid gas projects in Asia’s developed markets, with Australia, South Korea and Japan as its main markets.

In addition to MREH and Lower Wonga, the company has two other Australian large-scale BESS projects in development as listed on its website: Calala BESS in Tamworth, New South Wales with a planned output of 300MW and 1,200MWh capacity, and another 200MW/ 800MWh project, Koolunga BESS in Brinkworth, South Australia.

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