We’ve described previously how the information about the battery storage has been vague. This is remarkable given that the proposal now is to build what could be the world’s biggest battery.
Page 5-17 of the Preliminary Environment Impact Report says:
126.96.36.199 Energy Storage Facility
91. The energy storage market is currently subject to a large degree of uncertainty and it is not yet known exactly what form the energy storage facility is likely to take, however it is expected to be a battery storage facility. Battery storage arrays can be modular, housed within shipping containers or within larger bespoke buildings. The Rochdale Envelope parameters included in the ES will therefore likely cover a wide range of scenarios to ensure that the operational scheme can provide the necessary electricity management services to the National Grid and will be commercially viable.
92. The candidate Development design in this PEIR for the energy storage facility comprises an approximately 350 megawatt hour (MWh) battery array which will be located within the electrical compound adjacent to the west of the Development substation.
If you don’t know how big a 350MWh battery is, this is the one built in Australia by Tesla:
Tesla actually built the world’s biggest battery…
“…in reality, the massive installation—it’s comparable to a football field’s footprint, according to The New York Times— is a network of batteries housed in Tesla-made units called Powerpacks. Tesla isn’t saying precisely how many Powerpacks make up the giant battery, only that they’re counted in the hundreds; it packs 100 megawatts of power capable of energizing over 30,000 homes, according to the company…
The best way to think about [the project] is a large field of refrigerator-like Tesla Powerpacks,” says Mark Tholke, the chief development officer of Advanced Microgrid Solutions. That company installs batteries made by Tesla into buildings for businesses, which can then store energy when power prices are low, and discharge it later to help save money and ease the strain on the electrical grid.
Systems like the one in Australia will also need to include inverters to convert the DC power that’s stored in the batteries to AC, which is used in the electrical grid.
Australia’s mega-battery is 100MW/129MWh in size, so CHSP is proposing something that is almost three times larger than the world’s largest battery.
The Hornsdale Power Reserve website shows a video of the battery being built.
A news story shows how battery facilities such as the Australian mega-battery have more than one use. When electricity supply outstrips demand the battery can be used to store excess power from the whole grid on the cheap, and then selling it back to the grid when demand is at a peak. The article reports a calculation that in just two days approximately £0.5 million ($1 million AUD) might have been made.
‘Cleve Hill Mega Battery’?
Don’t forget that the original scoping report included just this tiny paragraph about the storage:
The question for Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd is: how much of this proposal is really just a ‘greenwash’ for hiding the fact that they’re really building the world’s biggest battery? Have they decided that the public’s innate support for solar (in preference to technologies like nuclear) will help get this project through the planning, whilst the battery side of things is just hidden away?
Shouldn’t this proposal really be called the “Cleve Hill Mega Battery”?