The slow arrival of the Wandoan Battery


Some people have asked me about what seems to be the slow arrival of the Wandoan Battery in Queensland … and I did not know the answer so I thought I would pose the question here, and see if any of our readers can help (either in comments below or directly).

Here’s a trend of daily peak activity on the battery in the >9 months since the battery was first registered by AEMO:

2022-04-21-NEMreview-WandoanBESS

For those with access to the NEMreview v7 software they can open their own copy of this query here.

The questions I’ve received revolved around why it was (apparently!) taking so long for the battery to proceed from registration to full commercial operations?

As can be seen from the chart:

1)  The battery is limited on charge and discharge to 100MW in either direction.

2)  It’s been registered since early July 2021, but showed first availability in late October 2021 and first output matched to availability in February 2022.

3)  Before that time there were some aberrations:

(a)  where charge or discharge seems to show, but not without the commensurate availability in NEMDE

i.  There’s a particularly pronounced spike in (apparent!) discharge on 9th, 10th and 11th September 2021

ii.  There’s a particularly pronounced spike in (apparent!) charging on 31st December 2021, and 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th January 2022.

(b)  this could be a combination of:

i.    Perhaps the smaller ones might actually be charging and discharging

ii.  But the larger ones (noted above) might be some data error.

… but that’s all speculation on my part!

4)  Also visible are the pronounced spikes ion daily average prices:

(a)  On 25th May 2021 (above the $1,400/MWh manual scale limit of the y1-axis) with the Callide C4 Catastrophe.

This was prior to the registration of Wandoan BESS.

(b)  On 1st February 2022 (again above $1,400/MWh), with the heatwave effects I wrote about (again!) earlier this week;

The Wandoan BESS was registered 7 months earlier, but was barely operating.

(c)  On 8th March 2022 (to $1,297.19/MWh average for the day), which was covered in a number of articles including this recap at the end of the day.

Note that Wandoan was barely running on 8th March … eight months after being first registered!

So it’s naturally of interest for people to understand why the battery is not yet fully operational?

I wonder if any of our readers who are more closely involved can fill us in?

Also worth highlighting (as on the image) that negative prices in QLD have largely disappeared since November 2021 – I’d seen others have noted this already on social media, and will follow up at some point in future when time permits…

About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

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