Development approval for Australia’s second largest energy storage project
Authorities in the Australian state of Victoria have granted development approval for a 240 MW energy storage project, Maoneng, the project’s operator, announced. The complex, to be built at a cost of A$190 million ($136 million), will be brought on stream in mid-2023 on the Morningstar peninsula, south of Melbourne.

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    The complex is capable of storing up to 480 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity at any one time and  will receive its power from the central grid in periods of reduced load and “return” it at peak hours, meeting the power needs of 40,000 households.

    The project is to use lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, noted for much higher thermal stability than lithium nickel manganese Cobalt (NMC) batteries. The site will also be equipped with security features, including an automatic fire detection and extinguishing system and an advanced fire suppression system that deploys a condensed aerosol agent to automatically handle any potential  hazard in minutes.

    “It will help stabilise the network and manage periods of peak demand when local companies and households really need reliable electricity,” a press release quoted Maoneng Co-founder and CEO Morris Zhou as saying.

   Once in operation, the complex will be the second largest energy storage complex in Australia. The largest facility was completed in Victoria state in December 2021 – it used lithium-ion batteries with an overall capacity of 300 MW. Two other Australian complexes in operation with a combined capacity of 55 MW were brought on stream at the end of 2018-beginning of 2019.

    Renewables firm Maoneng is planning five other energy storage facilities with a combined capacity of 775 MW. One is to be built in South Australia (Gould Creek), with a capacity of 225 MW), while the remaining four – Armidale (150 MW), Tamworth (200 MW), Lismore (100 MW) and Sunray (100 MW) are located in New South Wales (capital Sydney). The company also operates two solar farms (Mugga Lane and Sunraysia), with a combined capacity of 268 MW.


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