Bouldercombe’s Big Bessie Goes Live To Battle Bills for Rocky Residents

Bouldercombe’s Big Bessie Goes Live To Battle Bills for Rocky Residents Main Image

17 July 2023

  • Queensland’s next grid scale battery has gone live south of Gracemere to soak up region’s renewable energy to put downward pressure on prices.
  • The new battery has been installed next to publicly owned Powerlink’s existing Queensland SuperGrid substation.
  • With a capacity of 50MW and ability to store 100MWh of energy, Genex Power’s Bouldercombe Battery has the potential to power Gracemere annually.

A new 50MW grid-scale battery, part of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, has gone live outside of Rockhampton, designed to store the network’s cheap excess solar energy.

The battery, nicknamed ‘Big Bessie’ and part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, will take Central Queensland’s role in generating the state’s energy and supercharge local energy affordability.

The 50MW/100MWh battery will help revolutionise way energy supply and demand can be managed during peak times.

When fully operational at the end of 2023, the large-scale storage system will provide ancillary services to also support the stability and reliability of the transmission network that supplies power to more than five million Queenslanders.

Quotes attributable to Member for Rockhampton and Central Queensland Hydrogen Champion, Barry O’Rourke:

“This landmark project signals a monumental shift in Central Queensland’s energy profile as more renewable energy comes into service and work continues to develop the Queensland SuperGrid.

“This battery acts as a super solar soaker, taking exports from rooftop solar and the region’s future renewable energy projects, to drive down power prices in the evenings.

“By basing this battery here just outside Gracemere, which is in the top 50 solar postcodes in Queensland, means renewable energy can be generated, stored and used locally to help bring down power bills.

“This grid-scale battery will take renewable energy produced from local rooftop solar PV and other nearby wind and solar farms, and release when needed–delivering even more reliable, cheaper and cleaner energy for Central Queenslanders.

“With the Palaszczuk Government working towards 80 per cent renewables by 2035, it’s vital we maximise investment in new technologies to support the energy transformation.

“It is a critical part of our long-term plan for Queensland to meet our responsibilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni:

“Energisation of the Bouldercombe Battery Project signals yet another step towards making the Queensland SuperGrid a reality for local communities and putting downward pressure on household energy bills.

“Batteries are fast and flexible, with the ability to ramp up and down instantaneously to support the stability of the power system and reduce wholesale price volatility.

“This battery, along with our Cost-of-Living Rebates, show that the Palaszczuk Government is committed to helping keep costs down for households.”

Quotes attributable to Genex CEO, James Harding:

"Energisation of the Bouldercombe Battery Project is a significant milestone for Genex, as it marks the start of commissioning of our first large scale BESS and will play an integral role in diversifying the Genex portfolio of assets which includes solar, wind, pumped hydro and battery storage.

“Given the acceleration of the clean energy transition over the past 18 months, the successful connection of the project is timely, as it will store and supply up to 35,200MWh of power per annum and enable the further penetration of renewable energy in the State.

“We would like to thank Powerlink for their support throughout the connection process, and we look forward to continuing this cooperation as we complete the commissioning activities and enter into full commercial operation before the critical summer months.”

Explainer/fast fact and or further information:

  • 50MW/100MWH Genex Bouldercombe Battery Project is now one of the first large-scale battery energy storage systems to be energised in Queensland.
  • The battery has the potential to power more than 4,000 homes annually.
  • A total of 40 Tesla Megapack 2.0 batteries installed.
  • Powerlink’s grid connection works involved building a new 132kV switching bay at the Bouldercombe Substation, installing a 70-tonne transformer at the site, and building 150 metres of subterranean transmission cable.