About Battery Energy Storage Systems

Grid-scale batteries have been operating around the world since 2012 and are one of the most common forms of large-scale energy storage solutions. These systems can respond within seconds to meet changes in demand for energy.

In Australia, the first big battery was the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, commissioned in November 2017. Since then, the number of large-scale battery projects operating in Australia has increased to more than 1,500MW of capacity. Check out the map of big battery projects across Australia!

CleanCo assessed various options before selecting the Tesla lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery technology for the Swanbank site.

This technology is widely recognised in the energy storage industry for its excellent thermal and chemical stability, delivering better safety performance, especially in higher temperatures.

Community benefit

The construction of the battery is one of the first steps towards the Swanbank site transitioning from its energy industry origins as a coal-fired power station site to a Clean Energy Hub. Through this transition, CleanCo aims to develop a site that showcases clean energy technologies and supports research and innovation.

This Clean Energy Hub positions Ipswich at the forefront of the renewable energy transition in Queensland and Australia, helping to attract investment, business and economic activity for future generations.

The Swanbank Battery is expected to provide 60 construction jobs over 18 months, and up to 10 full-time roles to support ongoing operations.

Project partner, Yurika, has a strong commitment to local benefits and will resource the majority of its employees within zone 1 of the site (<125 km). Yurika will also seek local suppliers where possible.

The increased workforce presence during the construction period and the objective to source local will also provide economic benefits to local businesses in the Swanbank region and the Ipswich City Council area.

Construction impacts

The overall construction period is expected to take 18 months. However, the peak construction period will be during the delivery of battery systems from October – November 2024, over 6-weeks. The proposed working hours will be from 6:00am to 6:00pm, Monday to Saturday.

CleanCo expects some project-related traffic impacts during construction of the battery. This includes increased traffic along Swanbank Road and surrounding roads, additional heavy vehicles and slightly reduced travel speeds.

CleanCo is implementing a Traffic Management Plan (TMP) to minimise these impacts, including speed reductions, advanced warning signage and site traffic control during peak construction periods.

The construction phase will involve an additional 120 vehicles per day, composed of 100 light vehicles (workers accessing the site) and 20 heavy vehicles.

The batteries will be transported to site by semi-trailer.

As the project is located in an industrial precinct, the impact of this traffic is likely to be limited to CleanCo employees also working on site, and other vehicles accessing the Swanbank precinct.

CleanCo understands the importance of minimising disruption and will address community concerns related to noise if they arise.

CleanCo is committed to minimising construction-related noise.

While specific details are being finalised, measures will be implemented to ensure that any noise created by construction activity is mitigated as much as possible. Construction noise is not expected to reach impact residential areas, with the nearest houses more than 1.5kms away.

We welcome your feedback to help us continue to improve our operations. Please lodge your complaint by completing our online form. You can find this form on the home page of the Reimagine Swanbank website.

Ongoing operation

The battery is designed to operate 24/7 without on-site intervention or operation. The system can also be operated remotely from central CleanCo control rooms or from the Swanbank E power station control room.

While some equipment will generate low-level noise, it is not expected to reach residential areas, with the nearest houses more than 1.5kms from the site.

The battery contains some equipment such as cooling equipment and small transformers, that generate low level noise. Noise levels are comparable to common household appliances such as a vacuum cleaner.

The battery is not expected to operate for more than 4 hours a day – 2 hours for charging during the middle of the day and 2 hours to discharge energy at peak demand times (usually between 4-6pm).

CleanCo’s Swanbank site is located in an industrial precinct, away from houses. The nearest residential property is more than 1.5kms from the site.

The land has been used for more than 50 years for power generation. The site currently features Swanbank E gas-fired power station. The addition of the battery is in keeping with historic and current uses of the site.

The battery will be set back more than 50 metres from Swanbank Road so the visual impact to passersby will be further reduced.

The battery packs are enclosed in custom designed, dust and waterproof ‘cabinets’ made of galvanised steel. The cabinet colour is white or light coloured to assist with heat management.

The battery site will have area lighting to enable safe movement of personnel. This will be designed to minimise spill lighting outside the power station site. Impacts are expected to be minimal and contained to Swanbank Rd.

Battery safety

Safety is always CleanCo’s first priority.

The Swanbank Battery uses one of the safest battery storage products available today. The battery will feature integrated safety systems, specialised monitoring software and 24/7 monitoring. Its built-in sensors will track battery temperature to ensure optimum operation.

Vertical integration across design, manufacturing and testing ensures that safety features of the cell, battery module, inverter, thermal system, and overall system-level components are closely linked.

All of the battery units will undergo extensive testing while in production. The Swanbank Battery will also undergo rigorous system testing before it is switched on and connected to the National Electricity Market.

The risk of a fire is minimised through a fail-safe design*.

In the unlikely event of a fire, CleanCo would collaborate with emergency services to contain it swiftly.

The current expert advice for responding to battery fires is to allow the fire to burnout. Emergency services have protocols in place for managing battery fires. Residents would be kept informed through appropriate channels.

*Fail-safe design is a design feature or practice that, in the event of a specific type of failure, responds in a way that will cause minimal or no harm to other equipment, the environment or people.

The battery has been designed to contain a fire to a single module. System testing by the supplier has shown the likelihood of a fire spreading to other modules or the surrounding area is very low.

Emergency services would closely monitor and manage any fire event. In the unlikely event of worsening conditions, neighbours would be notified, and CleanCo has an emergency action plan to address any potential impacts.

Life after the battery

CleanCo has considered end of life planning for the battery, which has a 20-year warranty. Lithium-ion batteries are a source of many valuable materials. If recycled, battery components can be recovered for alternative use or may even be turned into new batteries.

Australian-based battery recycling facilities are in operation. These facilities have been able to recover around 95% of the materials that make up a battery using a combination of mechanical and hydraulic separation techniques.

CleanCo expects further development in the local battery recycling industry to occur in the future and will prioritise local recycling of components for the Swanbank Battery.

CleanCo will also work with our suppliers to recycle through their facilities, as appropriate.

Tesla has made a commitment that none of the scrapped lithium-ion batteries the company produces will go to landfill, and that 100% of their batteries will be recycled.

CleanCo seeks to use ethical suppliers to promote and support a culture of honest behaviour, ethical compliance, and good corporate governance.