- Additional battery energy storage at New England Solar approved by the NSW Government, helping put downward pressure on electricity bills as the country transitions to a clean energy future
- The approval now means planning for Stage 2 of New England Solar is a step closer to construction
- This is on the heels of ACEN Australia having recently secured a 20-year Long Term Energy Service Agreement (LTESA) for the New England Solar project, as part of the NSW Government’s first renewable energy and storage auction.
30 May 2023, NSW – ACEN Australia welcomes the NSW Government’s decision to approve its proposal to increase the size of the New England Solar battery energy storage system to 2,800 megawatt hours – enough energy to supply 175,000 homes with on-demand energy.
The 720 MWac (936 MWdc) New England Solar project is being built in two stages; Stage 1 – 400 MWac (521 MWdc) officially opened in March this year. The NSW Independent Planning Commission approved the project in 2020, which included the approval for a 200MW/2hr battery energy storage system.
An application to modify the development consent for the project has now been approved by the Department of Planning and Environment, which includes an increase to its battery energy storage capacity of 1,400MW/2hr, or 2,800 megawatt hours. The modification also includes some changes to Stage 2 of the solar project area, helping to optimise the project, and move it another step towards construction.
The location of the battery is within the approved site boundary, with the additional land for the larger battery currently being used as laydown areas for Stage 1 construction works. This area was chosen due to its proximity to the substation where it can connect to the electricity transmission network.
ACEN Australia CEO Anton Rohner said the additional battery storage at New England Solar would play a critical role in securing energy supply across the state.
“The state’s ageing coal fired generators are due to close over the next 20 years; large battery energy storage systems like these are critical in replacing that capacity with on-demand energy,” Mr Rohner said.
“The New England Solar battery storage can charge using excess power generated from solar and wind, and discharge that energy when required.”
“It will be a reliable, cheaper, and greener form of energy generation for NSW.”
ACEN Head of International Patrice Clausse adds, “We thank the New South Wales Government for their continuing support for our projects. We look forward to continuing to work together to decarbonise New South Wales and Australia at large.”
The additional storage capacity will allow the project to increase its energy storage potential, as well as provide additional firming and greater network system strength support, resulting in a more stable NSW electricity network.
This is on the heels of ACEN Australia recently having secured a 20-year Long Term Energy Service Agreement (LTESA) for the New England Solar project, as part of the NSW Government’s first renewable energy and storage auction. It provides an option to access a minimum price for generation projects.
ACEN Australia has also made significant financial commitments to support community initiatives, regional manufacturing and employment, and Indigenous participation in its projects.
For more information on the New England Solar project go to www.newenglandsolar.com.au or for more information on the NSW Government decision go to www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/majorprojects.
Dr Michael Connarty – 0407 368 174
ACEN – visit www.acenrenewables.com
ACEN Australia – visit www.acenrenewables.com.au
Media contact for interviews and images: Anthony O’Brien 0407 264 727
About ACEN Australia
ACEN Australia has more than 1GW capacity in construction and more than 8GW capacity in the development pipeline. Its renewable energy assets include solar, wind, battery and pumped hydro and energy storage projects across Australia. ACEN Australia’s first operational project will be New England Solar which has been in construction since 2021. It is one of Australia’s largest solar projects to be participating in the National Electricity Market and is the largest solar project in Australia to be financed on a fully merchant basis. Stubbo Solar in the NSW Central Orana Renewable Energy Zone is ACEN Australia’s second project which commenced construction in late 2022. Other ACEN Australia projects include New England Battery (NSW), Birriwa Solar (NSW), Valley of the Winds (NSW), Aquila Wind (NSW), Phoenix Pumped Hydro (NSW), Robbins Island and Jim’s Plain Wind (TAS) and North East Wind (TAS).
ACEN Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of ACEN (PSE: ACEN), the listed energy platform of the Ayala group. The company has ~4,200 MW of attributable capacity from owned facilities in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Australia, with a renewable share of 98%, which is among the highest in the region. ACEN’s aspiration is to be the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia, with a goal of reaching 20 GW of renewables capacity by 2030. ACEN is committed to transition the company’s generation portfolio to 100% renewable energy by 2025 and to become a Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions company by 2050.