Origin picks Wärtsilä as preferred contractor for Eraring Battery Project

Finnish tech group Wärtsilä said it has been chosen as the preferred contractor to deliver the first phase, 460 megawatts (MW) and 920 megawatt hours (MWh), of the Eraring energy storage project.

The battery, according to Wärtsilä, will be installed at Origin’s Eraring power station, with the Australian company holding the option to expand the battery to 700 MW and 2,800 MWh in the future.

The companies have signed an engineered equipment delivery (EEQ) contract with a total value of slightly more than €300 million ($329.1 million), Wärtsilä’s largest single energy storage deal to-date, the company said in its statement. Wärtsilä expects to start equipment delivery to from October 2023, and to wrap it up by September 2024.

The Eraring battery will be connected to Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) and support energy security and reliability in the state of New South Wales as the penetration of variable renewable energy supply increases, the statement reads.

With significant solar and wind resources, Australia is in a unique position to rapidly decarbonize its energy sector. Flexible capacity, provided by energy storage projects like Origin’s Eraring battery or grid balancing engines, will be vital to achieving that as the share of renewables increases. The scale of this project positions Wärtsilä at the heart of that trend, delivering gigawatt-scale energy storage projects in each of our key markets around the world,” said Håkan Agnevall, President & CEO, Wärtsilä.

Eraring is a strategic site with high quality connection infrastructure enabling us to deliver energy into major demand centers. Development of the Eraring battery is a key next step as we look to transform the Eraring site for the future, given our intention to exit coal-fired generation by as early as August 2025. We look forward to working with Wärtsilä and key contractors to deliver the Eraring battery safely and expeditiously,” said Greg Jarvis, Head of Energy Supply and Operations at Origin Energy.

Wärtsilä’s energy storage system (ESS) is designed with the potential to switch operation into grid-forming in the future, with the capability to supply a variety of system strength and system restart ancillary services, the company said. Wärtsilä stressed that this will deliver stability and resilience for NEM as a higher proportion of renewable energy sources penetrate the grid, helping to facilitate Australia’s clean energy transition.

Wärtsilä further said its GEMS Digital Energy Platform is a critical aspect of the system, which monitors and controls the flow of energy, enabling these projects to provide grid support during periods of instability. With Wärtsilä’s Storage+ Solution, the projects will provide firming capacity to balance Origin’s generation portfolio in support of its retail customer load, the company noted.

The project includes Wärtsilä’s GridSolv Quantum, a fully-integrated modular and compact energy storage system, the Finnish company concluded.

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