Shell to repurpose NSW fossil fuel assets for renewable future

Shell Energy has partnered with Greenspot to build a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on the site of an old power station near Lithgow.

Development approval has been granted for the 500MW battery to be built at the old Wallerawang Power Station, which was decommissioned in 2014 and will capture energy from renewable sources to be released during peak periods. 

Shell Energy will build, own and operate the BESS on a 20-hectare site leased from Greenspot, a company specialising in acquiring and repurposing assets from the fossil fuel industry. 

Greenspot has earmarked a further 200 hectares of the 620-hectare site as an employment hub for future future-facing, high-tech industries. 

Brett Hawkins, CEO of Greenspot, said the project is critically important to attract new businesses to areas that have historically relied heavily on coal-based energy production. 

“The greater Lithgow region has contributed to powering NSW for nearly 70 years. As the economy decarbonises, and new energy technologies are adopted, it is critically important that strategies are implemented to attract a range of new businesses to areas like Lithgow which have traditionally relied heavily on coal-based industry,” he said. 

Greg Joiner, CEO of Shell Energy, said Shell is proud to play a role in NSW’s decarbonisation.

“Battery energy storage has a vital role to play in the energy transition by supporting renewable generation and contributing to improved reliability for the grid and consumers. 

“Shell Energy is proud to take an important step forward in NSW’s energy future, particularly in helping regional communities such as Lithgow continue to play a role when energy is increasingly decarbonised,” he said. 

The site, to be called Wallerwang 9, will be connected to a nearby 330kV power station, which was previously used to transmit coal-fired energy to the grid. 

“Proximity to the high-voltage transmission network, access to major road, rail transport and significant existing and proposed water infrastructure, and proximity to high-integrity data networks, makes the Wallerawang site highly competitive to attract the investment needed to propel the local economy forward,” said Hawkins.

“Targeted collaboration between the private and public sectors, community groups and educational institutions will be essential in ensuring that intergenerational employment opportunities continue to be available here in Lithgow,” he said. 

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