Australian developer opts for longer battery duration to boost project economics

Renewables developer Frontier Energy has boosted the storage duration of its 80 MW Waroona Renewable battery by 12% to 4.5 hours

From pv magazine ESS News site

West Australian (WA) renewables company Frontier Energy has made its final technology selection for the Waroona Renewable Energy Project Stage One, boosting the capacity of its 80 MW battery component by 12% to 4.5 hours, up from the originally planned four hours of storage.

The project located near Parth is collocated with a 120 MW solar farm. The developer expects the larger battery capacity on site to enable additional storage of electricity during times of low pricing, and dispatch during times of peak pricing, boosting the project’s economics.

Frontier Energy CEO Adam Kiley said the Company is in the fortunate position that the cost of the two largest capital items, solar panels, and lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, have fallen significantly since the release of the project’s initial definitive feasibility study (DFS) in February, which estimated a cost of $118.5 million.

“Battery prices have fallen due to a combination of factors, including falling raw materials prices, improvement in the supply chain, and reportedly weaker than anticipated demand, resulting in an ample supply of batteries in the current market,” he said.

“This unique situation is to Frontier’s advantage, with improved battery capacity resulting in increased duration, approximately 4.5 hours compared to 4 hours in the DFS, increasing Waroona’s revenue while at the same time achieving a lower capital cost.”

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