Speeding up connection of batteries to NSW electricity grid

The NSW Government is accelerating the roll out of major battery projects across the state, boosting electricity reliability to keep the lights on in New South Wales.

Ropes Creek Corridor. Oxley Park, north of Great Western Highway, showing power lines

$8.4 million in new funds has been awarded to Transgrid and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to hire more engineers, enabling them to fast-track grid connections for 4 battery projects of more than 100 megawatts (MW) each.

The total capacity of these projects is equivalent to 15% of the 2023–24 NSW summer peak demand or supplying approximately 800,000 households with energy during a peak demand event.

The most recent AEMO report forecasts increased reliability risks in New South Wales from 2024 to 2028, driven largely by retiring coal plants and not enough renewables coming online to fill the gap.

These large batteries will play a critical role in delivering affordable, reliable energy in New South Wales by storing renewable energy during sunny and windy periods and supplying that electricity to the energy grid during peak demand.

The projects which could benefit from the grants include:

  • Waratah Super Battery (850 MW, 2-hour storage duration)
  • Liddell Battery Energy Storage System (500 MW, 2-hour storage duration)
  • Orana Battery Energy Storage System (415 MW, 4-hour storage duration)
  • Richmond Valley Battery Energy Storage System (275 MW, 8-hour storage duration)

This investment will bring forward completion dates of these priority battery projects by as much as 12 months, helping to decrease current reliability risks to NSW consumers.

Connecting projects to the grid is highly technical and a lack of qualified staff can cause delays.

Transgrid will use a $3.2 million grant to fund extra technical staff on grid connections to reduce the risk of delays. Transgrid will also establish two dedicated ‘squads’ of engineers, technicians and customer support staff, to provide additional grid connection application review and support.

AEMO will receive up to $5.2 million for additional staff to project manage the grid connection process and coordinate with Transgrid and other project proponents to get the supported battery projects up and running by 2025–26.

The funding for these battery projects is one of many measures the NSW Government is putting in place to deliver affordable, reliable energy for the people of New South Wales including $1.8 billion to establish the Energy Security Corporation.

Quote attributable to the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Penny Sharpe:

‘The NSW Government is committed to accelerating replacement electricity infrastructure and is funding additional staff to ensure priority battery projects are connected to the grid as soon as possible.

‘The funding to AEMO and Transgrid will reduce the risk of connection to the grid being delayed and help to address the reliability risks identified in AEMO’s recent report.

‘These batteries will ensure consumers in NSW have access to affordable and reliable electricity sooner.’

/Public Release. View in full here.