An artists' impression of the battery in Queensland. Image credit: Vena.

Australian energy provider AGL and renewable power producer Vena Energy will build Queensland’s largest grid-scale battery, which could power up to 57,000 homes annually.

The $120 million battery energy storage system (BESS) will be built in the town of Wandoan, offering an initial capacity of 100 megawatts (MW) and storing 150 MW hours of energy.

Work on the giant battery is set to begin, taking about 18 months to complete.

“The BESS is a major milestone in the continuing modernisation of Queensland’s energy supply and improves the reliability of the power grid,” said Vena Energy CEO Nitin Apte.

“The project will bolster a positive investment environment for future projects, as well as encourage broader adoption of renewable energy in Queensland and in Australia.”

The battery is part of Vena Energy’s Wandoan South Project, which is approved to generate up to 1000MW of solar electricity and 450MW of energy storage over several stages.

Queensland continues to be a major hub for clean energy projects within Australia, with more than $6 billion invested in renewable projects since 2017, according to the Clean Energy Council.

These projects have created more than 5,900 jobs in clean energy production across the state.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said increasing energy storage capacity in the grid was the next phase in the modernisation of Australia’s energy network.

“A similar battery project in South Australia from 2017 has been extremely successful in strengthening the grid, and this latest announcement is fantastic news for Australia’s clean energy industry,” Mr Thornton said.

AGL CEO Brett Redman said the new battery will support the company’s transition from coal generation to renewables.

“The BESS will enable AGL to leverage excess solar generation in Queensland and provide capacity when the Coopers Gap Wind Farm and other renewable power sources are not generating,” Mr Redman said.

AGL has renewable energy projects throughout the country, with $1.9 billion of energy supply projects completed or in construction and another $2 billion in the pipeline.

The energy company completed the Dalrymple 30 MW battery on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia early last year and struck a deal with Maoneng Group to buy capacity from four batteries in NSW last October.

The new battery project follows a slow-down in new investments into large-scale renewable energy projects last year.

According to analysis by the Clean Energy Council, there were only 28 projects worth $4.5 billion announced in 2019, down from 51 projects worth $10.7 billion in 2018.