Beryl Battery Energy
Storage System

A proposed sustainable energy storage system in Gulgong, NSW

Location

Gulgong, NSW

Development Progress

Planning and Approval

Power Network

TransGrid

Beryl Battery Energy Storage System

About the project

Ratch-Australia Corporation (RAC) is proposing to develop a new battery energy storage system (BESS) in Gulgong, in the central west region of New South Wales.

The proposed Beryl BESS would be located within the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (CWO REZ), a 20,000 km2 area connecting new renewable energy projects and electricity storage to deliver cheap, reliable, and clean electricity for homes and businesses in NSW. The CWO REZ is anticipated to unlock three gigawatts of new network capacity by the mid-2020s, enough to power 1.4 million Australian homes.

The Beryl BESS would have a capacity of up to 100 megawatts (MW) with two hours of storage (100MW / 200MWh). A direct 132kV connection via underground or overhead cabling would connect the proposed BESS to Transgrid’s Beryl Substation, located south of the project area, across from Beryl Road.

The Beryl BESS would support the Australian and New South Wales Governments commitment to increasing the use of clean, reliable energy to secure future energy supply across the country. It would also support RAC’s continued growth as a leading independent power producer in Australia, bringing clean and reliable energy to the market using innovative technologies.

Caring for our communities and the environment is a vital part of our vision. We will invite stakeholders and the community to provide feedback on the Beryl BESS at key stages of the planning process.

 

The proposed Beryl BESS is located 6km west of Gulgong in central west New South Wales. The existing Beryl Solar Farm, a separate entity, is located 100m south of the Beryl BESS. The above image shows the proposed footprint (blue) and landscaping boundaries (green), plus temporary construction work ‘lay down’ areas (pink). Click to view or download the map.

Beryl Battery Energy Storage System

Design

We’re listening to the community and using your feedback to guide our design and planning for the proposed Beryl BESS.

Our project team has met with Mid-Western Regional Council, businesses, local groups, and nearby property owners to hear first-hand what’s important to them and the wider community.

Guided by this feedback, we have relocated the site away from private property and compressed the design footprint, so it is anticipated to take-up less than five (5) hectares of the total 28-hectare site.  A direct 132kV connection via underground or overhead cabling would connect the proposed BESS to Transgrid’s Beryl Substation, located south of the project area, across from Beryl Road.

RAC has incorporated stakeholder and community feedback into our plans, revising the preliminary design to minimise potential impacts:

  • updating design to ensure furthest set-back distance possible from neighbouring landowners, positioning the site closer to Beryl Road to minimise potential amenity impacts such as visual or noise
  • incorporating vegetation screening planting where feasible in the Project area to reduce potential visual amenity impacts and potential construction noise
  • including additional areas of avoidance or protection within the development site area that would result in reduced potential for biodiversity and heritage impacts
  • brought forward visual and landscaping modelling to gather feedback from neighbouring property owners and the community about the approach.
Beryl Battery Energy Storage System

Development process

During the planning approval phase of a project there are many opportunities to interact with the community and listen to feedback which guides our planning along with technical expert assessments.

We know the community are our biggest source of local knowledge and also need to understand what’s going on. So, we provide regular information through meetings, updates, newsletters and our information sessions for the community to comment on our plans and contribute their ideas.

Listening to communities is a vital part of our process and there are informal and formal feedback opportunities.

Project timeline
Anticipated project timeline

The indicative planning timeline and community consultation periods include:

  • Mid 2023 – Consult neighbouring landowners and stakeholders
  • August 2023 – Scoping Report published for comment 
  • September 2023 – Planning Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARS) issued
  • Late 2023 / Early 2024 – Engage with the community and key stakeholders, to share information and gather feedback to inform the project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
  • Mid 2024 – EIS public exhibition seeking formal stakeholders and community submissions
  • Mid / Late 2024 – Response to Submissions Report is published, outlining how construction and operations will be managed to address key community and stakeholder concerns
  • Late 2024 – Anticipated development approval and conditions of consent
  • Early 2025 – Construction underway

The timings provided are subject to approvals and may change during the planning application process.

Community Feedback

Have your Say

We’ve been listening to the community and using your feedback to guide our design and planning for the proposed Beryl BESS.

Some key outcomes resulting directly from community feedback include:

  • updating the design to furthest set-back distance possible from neighbouring landowners, moving the site closer to Beryl Road to minimise potential amenity impacts such as visual or noise
  • vegetation screening planting where feasible in the Project area to reduce potential visual amenity impacts and potential construction noise
  • additional areas of avoidance or protection within the Project area that would result in reduced potential for biodiversity and heritage impacts.

We would like to hear your thoughts on the project, including:

  • what you value about your local area
  • potential community benefit sharing ideas
  • concerns you may have about the proposed project.

The survey here will take you approximately 5 minutes.

The information you provide will remain confidential and your responses will remain anonymous.

Beryl Battery Energy Storage System

FAQs

Battery energy storage systems (BESS) operate by charging from an energy source then storing that energy until it is required for use. The Beryl BESS is being designed to integrate with nearby renewable energy projects in the Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) to unlock a firmed supply of power for up to 1.4 million homes – including homes in the Beryl and Gulgong area.

The Australian and New South Wales (NSW) Governments are committed to increasing the use of clean, reliable energy to secure future energy supply across the country. With carbon-emitting, coal-fired power stations now expected to be closed years ahead of schedule, NSW needs to rapidly grow its capacity to produce and store clean, renewable energy and achieve net-zero emissions targets by 2050. 

RATCH-Australia Corporation (RAC) is one of the largest owners and operators of renewable and firming energy generation assets in the Australian market. RAC was founded in 2011 and currently owns and manages nine energy generation assets around Australia. All of these assets are renewable energy assets or gas-fired power stations that provide stability to the renewable energy market.

Over more than a decade, RAC’s portfolio of generation assets has continued to evolve to produce 1.3GW of energy capacity. RAC has invested more than $1.3bn into Australian greenfield renewable projects over four years. This includes the successful delivery of nearly 600MW of new wind and solar projects since 2017, such as the 227MW Collector Wind Farm which opened in June 2021.

RATCH-Australia is a subsidiary of the RATCH Group, which is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand with a market cap equivalent to around A$4bn. The RATCH Group owns power generation assets in Thailand, China, Indonesia and Laos, with further capacity under construction or in development throughout South-East Asia.

RAC encourages all feedback on how we can support the local community’s priorities and development, and where possible, we’re committed to using local suppliers and contractors during construction and operation.

The BESS would also provide both voltage and reactive power support for the Beryl area, as well as wider NSW energy supply.

The Beryl BESS would be located at 5 Holleys Lane, approximately 6 km west of the Gulgong township. The location is within the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone (CWO REZ), a 20,000 km2 area connecting new renewable energy projects and electricity storage to deliver cheap, reliable, and clean electricity for homes and businesses in NSW. The CWO REZ is expected to unlock enough new network capacity to power to power 1.4 million homes by the mid-2020s. 

The project is proposed to connect directly to Beryl 66kV/132kV substation which is directly across the road from the project site. The substation plays a major role in electricity supply and by incorporating a BESS it will increase electricity supply to the network and improve the system security by dispatching electricity instantaneously at times of high demand.

Beryl BESS will help to reduce the power loss in the transmission network with the ability to reduce curtailment from nearby renewable energy facilities in the CWO REZ by storing energy.

The project is seeking approval under Division 4.7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). The consent authority for Project would be the NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces or the NSW Independent Planning Commission.

We are committed to consulting the community and stakeholders at each key stage of the planning process and prior to submitting a planning application to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. We know that the community and other local stakeholders have been though several consultations in recent times for other renewable projects, and RAC will ensure that there is sufficient time provided to share feedback for the Beryl BESS.

In recent months, our project team met with Mid-Western Regional Council and nearby property owners to hear first-hand what’s important to them and the wider community. RAC has reviewed this feedback and revised the initial location design to minimise potential impacts.

Key outcomes resulting directly from community feedback include:

  • updating the design to furthest set-back distance possible from neighbouring landowners, moving the site closer to Beryl Road to minimise potential amenity impacts such as visual or noise
  • vegetation screening planting where feasible in the Project area to reduce potential visual amenity impacts and potential construction noise
  • additional areas of avoidance or protection within the Project area that would result in reduced potential for biodiversity and heritage impacts.

The estimated construction period for Beryl BESS is 12 Months. RAC work closely with our contractors, neighbors, local councils and communities to plan and manage construction responsibly.

We are committed to reducing construction impacts on communities and environment and keeping people safe whilst we work. Some of the ways we do this include:

  • working during standard construction hours where possible
  • monitoring and actively managing construction activities
  • using well-maintained equipment
  • meeting requirements set out in planning conditions, legislation, industry standards and guidelines
  • regular communication with the surrounding community and local Council, and
  • a strong safety culture and clear procedures.

Recent incidents reported in the media involved some early-stage Lithium-Ion batteries which were subjected to impacts or high internal temperatures beyond their design parameters. Design of battery cells, charging management, fire suppression systems and temperature monitoring have advanced in recent years to improve safety. The technology used today to manage the BESS includes an inbuilt Battery Management System (BMS) which monitors the battery, down to the cellular level. The BMS regulates voltage, current, power limits and temperature. The BMS prevents potential malfunctions by shutting down battery modules and/or racks if conditions are outside permissible safe operation.

As well, the site layout is designed to ensure spacing between components to minimise the risk of the spread of any potential fire.

Consideration of all potential risks is a key design component for RATCH-Australia in ensuring the safety of surrounding communities and our employees. Design, construction, testing, operation, and maintenance of the proposed Beryl BESS must meet all NSW Government safety regulations and national standards, with all plans developed in consultation with NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, and the Mid-Western Regional Council.

The primary source of this sound are the cooling fans which are essential for controlling the ambient temperature of BESS to ensure individual battery cells are kept to a moderate temperature whilst charging and discharging. The noise level from a BESS facility resembles a standard household air conditioning unit.

Detailed noise studies to model anticipated noise levels at Beryl are being conducted as part of the EIS assessment process. These studies must use authorised environmental standards to gauge noise levels throughout the project’s development and operational phases. During operation, BESS facilities are obligated to adhere to stringent noise management requirements which are established as part of the planning assessment process. 

BESS facilities are typically containerised, modular systems that can be configured based on specific site and capacity requirements. However, BESS technology is continuously evolving, with BESS components becoming increasingly more efficient and compact in size.

Most BESS units look a bit like a shipping container.  Within the container is a highly sophisticated system of components including battery units or ‘enclosures’, inverters and transformers. These units each have fire suppression and air conditioning systems which monitor and control the unit’s performance right down to each individual battery cell. The final configuration of a BESS facility depends on the BESS technology, BESS supplier and required output.

Local and regional environmental groups, as well as neighbouring landowners, businesses owners and the wider community, are being consulted to ensure we are aware of any environmental concerns and that these are considered as part of the planning and approvals process.

Water is not required for the operation of the BESS facility, however throughout detailed design of the facility we will review on-site water storage and other bush fire mitigation measures (such as non-combustible site surface material, bushfire break areas and firefighting infrastructure).

As part of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a full  assessment will be undertaken of the historical and potential surface water, groundwater and flooding risks during construction, operation and decommissioning of the Project. The assessment will also outline mitigation measures proposed to avoid or minimise potential impacts to water resources.

Grid scale BESS facilities are generally expected to have an operational life of approximately 20 years. After 20 years the battery capacity is expected to be 60%. RATCH-Australia is working with suppliers to understand and maximise end-of-life options for the batteries after this time, including repurposing or recycling of battery components and recovery of rare earth metals that are found in each battery cell.

RAC will include an assessment of all potential waste and resource streams, identify available waste management facilities near the Project, and prepare mitigation measures in accordance with the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy (NSW EPA, 2018).

Call our free community information line on 1800 280 013, or email berylbess@ratchaustralia.com. Our phone line is monitored Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Screen Shot 2023-09-06 at 12.19.56 pm
Beryl Battery Energy Storage System

Community Newsletters

Beryl BESS Project Update #2 – December 2023
Download PDF (902 KB)

Beryl BESS Project Update #1 – September 2023
Download PDF (2 MB)

Contact Us

Do you have questions about the project?

Anyone with questions about the project, including local businesses interested in bidding for contracts or individuals seeking employment opportunities during the construction phase can register details and make contact using the form below. Or email anytime to berylbess@ratchaustralia.com or call 24 hours 7 days a week on 1800 280 013.

Contact Us