Emerald to house Central Queensland’s new big battery site

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L to R: Sam Mayberry, Energy Queensland; Brittany Lauga MP; Minister Mark Furner; Barry O'Rourke MP; Bart Mellish MP. Image credit: Queensland government

The town of Emerald has been selected to serve as the site for Central Queensland’s next large-scale network-connected battery site. 

The new battery is one of the upcoming 12 large-scale, electricity network-connected batteries that will power Queensland communities’ rooftop solar systems. 

Emerald is home to over 1,9920 solar systems and the battery is intended to enable residents to capture cheap renewable energy and drive down power bills. 

Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the new battery project in Emerald will support additional solar energy in the local area over the next decade and will support local jobs in publicly owned energy companies. 

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“Central Queensland is already playing an enormous role in capturing the state’s solar potential, so it’s now time to supercharge Emerald’s local energy security and affordability with this network-connected battery,” Minister Furner said. 

One out of three homes in Queensland use solar energy, making the state’s rooftop solar the biggest power station in Australia, Furner said, with more than 700,000 homes and small businesses generating around 4,100 MW of clean energy.  

“Now Emerald can play a leading role in the state’s goal to achieve 70 per cent renewables by 2032,” the minister noted. 

Glenn Dahlenburg, Energy Queensland’s general manager for energy storage, said the Emerald battery site will ensure that the energy generated locally stays locally, instead of putting pressure on upstream infrastructure. 

“As we connect more renewables for our customers, battery storage will give us greater flexibility to connect rooftop solar, balance supply and demand, and keep voltages in check, which is vital for the security of the network that powers Queensland,” Dahlenburg said. 

“With these battery projects, we’re aiming for a win-win-win scenario that achieves the energy trifecta for communities throughout the state – affordability, security and sustainability,” he added. 

A new 50 MW battery is currently underway near Gracemere, which is expected to deliver enough power for nearly all homes in Gracemere, according to Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke. 

“It means we can pump more cheap renewables into the Queensland SuperGrid and create more good jobs in our publicly owned energy system for workers in Central Queensland,” O’Rourke said.