Energy Insiders Podcast: Australia’s biggest unsubsidised battery


The New Year has started with some exciting news on battery storage, with Vena Energy announcing it will build a 100MW/150MWh battery plant in Queensland that will capture excess generation from wind and solar and provide grid services.

In an interview with Energy Insiders, Vena’s Australia country head Anil Nangia says the Wandoan battery is the biggest standalone battery in the country, and the biggest to be built with no government subsidy or support. “This is purely a commercial battery. It shows that costs have come down and batteries are now economically viable.”

The battery will be contracted out to AGL, which will be able to use the battery to soak up excess solar energy, or excess wind from its soon to be completed Coopers Gap wind farm, and offer grid services.

The Wandoan site has planning approval for up to 450MW of battery storage and 1000MW of solar PV. The company expects to begin its first stage of solar – likely to be within 100MW and 200MW in the next year, and the final deployment will depend on the number and nature of the contracts and off take agreements that they can sign.

“We can add to the battery in a modular scale and keep expanding as the need arises,” Nangia says. “Thats one of the advantage so of battery technology. It is modular and can grow as need arises.”

Vena also owns and operates the Tailem Bend solar farm in South Australia, and is looking to add a second stage, and possibly battery storage, to that facility.

Meanwhile, the Energy Insiders podcast also features David Leitch’s analysis of the summer electricity market, Scott Morrison’s missteps on climate and energy choices, and the proposed new transmission link from South Australia to NSW.

You can find previous editions of the Energy Insiders Podcast here, or on your favourite podcast platform.

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