Singapore-based renewables developer Vena Energy has adjusted its plans for the Bellambi Heights Renewable project in central-western New South Wales, Australia. Initially, the project was proposed to include a 500MW solar farm alongside a 600MW battery with six hours of storage capacity. However, Vena has now decided to eliminate the solar component entirely and focus solely on an independent 408MW, two-hour battery.
The decision to remove the solar component was based on further site investigations and community feedback. Vena reduced the project’s development footprint by more than 50% and submitted a scoping report proposing a 200MW solar farm and 200MW battery energy storage system (BESS). However, due to ongoing environmental assessments and concerns about flooding and biodiversity, Vena concluded that a solar farm in the proposed location was not economically viable.
The revised plan now includes a 408MW BESS built in two stages or in one stage, providing up to two hours of storage. The project site, located northwest of Gulgong, offers optimal conditions for a large battery, with cleared land and a strong connection to the transmission network. Vena believes there is a need for storage as security and reliability become increasingly important in the transition to renewable energy generation.
The Bellambi Heights Battery Energy Storage System is currently in the Public Exhibition stage of the Environmental Impact Assessment. The Development Application is open for public feedback before a final decision is made by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.