Australian LNG carrier Woodside plots 500MW solar, 400MWh energy storage project

Jan 13, 2022 02:02 PM ET
  • Australian LNG gamer Woodside Energy has tabled plans to develop a utility-scale solar-storage project with a generation capacity of as much as 500MW in Western Australia.
Australian LNG carrier Woodside plots 500MW solar, 400MWh energy storage project
Image: Neoen Solar

The proposal, submitted to Western Australia's Environmental Protection Authority, mentions Woodside's intent to construct the Woodside Solar Facility in the Maitland Strategic Industrial Area near Karratha in Pilbara, Western Australia.

The first stage of the project would certainly combine 100MWac of solar PV generation with a battery energy storage space facility with a capacity of 400MWh. Woodside is, nevertheless, meaning to acquire approval to extend the solar capacity to as much as 500MWac and the storage capacity to a maximum of 200MWh for each 50MWac of PV generation, presuming a battery of approximately 2GWh.

Moreover, Woodside said the facility is anticipated to run for approximately 70 years, much beyond the typical life span of solar projects.

Woodside Energy would create and run the project, which would certainly be attached to the North West Interconnected System (NWIS), which is operated by state-owned power business Horizon Power. Horizon would certainly build accompanying framework for the project, including a 20km-long transmission line to link the solar facility with the NWIS.

If permitted, building and construction is prepared for to start in 2022 with energisation of the project's first phase slated for a year after that.

The sustaining paper for the planning application, which can be found here, extols the benefits of the facility in decreasing carbon emissions in Western Australia, specifically in relation to Woodside's LNG facilities in the region.

In November 2018, Woodside said it was "maturing a principle" to incorporate industrial-scale solar with gas-fired generation at its Burrup Hub LNG facility, situated near the solar-storage project now suggested.

Regardless of issues impacting financier confidence in utility-scale solar in Australia in recent years-- a number of which were explored within a feature initially published in PV Tech Power last year-- tens of gigawatts of solar projects have been earmarked for preparation in the nation, most of which lie within so-called Renewable Energy Zones in states such as New South Wales.

Applications to participate in the zones have been oversubscribed lot of times over, motivating the Government of New South Wales to open enrollments of interest for one more zone late last year.

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