Big battery to help power NSW schools and hospitals

A 100-megawatt battery will help to power schools, hospitals and Government buildings across NSW under the state’s new electricity supply contract.

As part of the $3.2 billion 10 year contract, awarded to Shell Energy and Edify, a 100-megawatt battery will be built alongside the Darlington Point Solar Farm in the Riverina, providing critical dispatchable electricity prior to the closure of the Liddell Power Station.

Energy Minister Matt Kean said the deal delivers great value for money and electricity security for the people of NSW.

“The NSW Government is the second biggest energy customer in the state and we are using our purchasing power to leverage new dispatchable capacity to help power our schools, hospitals, traffic lights and tunnels,” Mr Kean said.

“This battery will help to keep the lights on and keep costs down during peak energy periods, and support more renewable energy to come online.”

Shell Energy CEO Greg Joiner said the NSW Government has been a longstanding and valued customer and is proud to be partnering with them and Edify to bring this energy solution to the market.

“Partnerships are key to delivering solutions in a complex energy transition and we’re pleased to be delivering innovative power solutions that bring investment and contribute to a cleaner and more resilient power system in NSW,” Mr Joiner said.

“Providing products and services that help large energy users decarbonise and meet their emissions goals is a key focus for us in assembling the building blocks of a cleaner energy system in Australia.”

Edify CEO John Cole said batteries are earning their place as a valued capacity solution to secure dispatchable renewable energy for consumers, businesses and Government.

“With our successful track record in forming partnerships to deliver storage projects, we are excited to head back into the Riverina community and continue our work with Shell Energy and the NSW Government to make this innovative project a reality,” Mr Cole said.

The battery, to be built by early 2023 and operated by Edify, will support up to 35 local jobs during the construction phase and will mitigate concerns around supply shortages related to the closure of the Liddell Power Station. 

The new contract will commence from July 2022, when existing contracts expire.