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RWE to build Australia's first eight-hour battery

Image: RWE

Germany-headquartered global renewables player RWE has announced an investment decision to build Australia's first eight-hour battery near Balranald in New South Wales (NSW).

The Limondale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), with a planned capacity of 50+ MW and 400+ MWh, will store excess renewable energy and feed it to the NSW grid when required.

The project will be located next to RWE's 249 MWac Limondale Solar Farm --- which generates enough electricity to power about 105,000 homes per year --- and connect to existing grid infrastructure. RWE has selected Tesla as the BESS supplier, and Beon Energy Solutions as the delivery partner for the Balance of Plant, which includes the civil, structural, electrical and control works required to connect the Megapack (the name for Tesla's lithium-ion grid-scale batteries) to the existing 33kV substation.

Construction is scheduled to start in the second half of this year, with commissioning planned for late 2025, RWE said in a release. Australia is one of RWE's focus markets; the company intends to develop up to 3 GW of renewable energy projects in the country by 2030.

In its release, RWE pointed out that its eight-hour BESS was the only successful project in NSW's first Long Duration Storage Long-Term Energy Service Agreements tender process, being awarded a Long-Term Energy Service Agreement.

Katja Wünschel, CEO, RWE Renewables Europe & Australia said in a statement: "RWE's investment decision and signing of supplier contracts for the Limondale BESS project is an exciting step forward in our commitment to the Australian renewables sector and support of New South Wales' renewable energy ambitions. As a battery storage pioneer, RWE develops, builds and operates innovative and competitive battery storage systems in Europe and the US, and soon here in Australia. We look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to help realise the country's renewable energy goals." 

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