Engagement with the local community is a critical objective of Maoneng and is integral to this project.
We would like to ensure that open dialogue and information transfer can occur with local residents, stakeholders and the wider community in an easy and efficient manner.
We would like to ensure that there is no “surprise” to the community and that a long-term relationship is maintained between the project team and all project stakeholders.
Maoneng is committed to working with the local community to ensure a transparent engagement process and successful project. The objectives of the community engagement process are:
- To keep the community and stakeholders informed about the project through the provision of factual project information
- To identify and address community and stakeholder concerns and maintain transparency in the project design and implementation
- To identify opportunities for local business involvement in the implementation of the project
- To provide feedback on how stakeholder and community input will influence the final project and decision
Maoneng considers community consultation to be essential at all stages of the BESS life cycle, and invites all members of the community to contact Us.
Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP), LiFePO4, technology has been chosen as it provides proven benefits over other technologies. LFP is a phosphorous-olivine technology rather than a metal oxide layered technology which means it delivers a safer solution to temperature fluctuation resilience and potential thermal runaway risk.
The battery technology is not a liquid acid battery you may typically find in traditional car batteries. Therefore, the batteries don’t have a risk of acid spilling since the technology is constructed using phosphorous-olivine technology, which has a layered lithium-ion structure encased in a gel-type viscosity electrolyte.
The battery cells are housed in individual impact-resistant, leak-resistant aluminium casings. The cell housing is compliant with UN38.3, UL1973, UL9540 and IEC 62619.
The example below illustrates the assembly of a battery pack and the numerous layers that would need to be breached before any external environmental exposure.
In addition, numerous protection elements monitor the cell continually, which will electrically disconnect the battery rack from the system and raise an immediate alarm to the operators.
The Battery Energy Storage System facility has minimal parts that require maintenance. The facility consists of standard equipment you would find in most solar farms, such as switchboards, transformers, protection and metering cabinets and inverters.
We now use battery enclosures connected to inverters. Therefore, the maintenance required on site is very low, requiring general tasks such as cleaning the site area from debris, grass and weeds, vermin control management, and inverter operation checks. The frequency of inspections, depending on the task, may vary. For instance, site cleaning and weed control every three months and inverter checks six-monthly or yearly.
Decommissioned batteries are broken down into their base materials, including metals and plastics, to be re-used back into new batteries. All the raw materials containing the cells (lithium, nickel, copper, zinc, lead, magnesium etc), the modules housing the battery cells can also be recycled since they are metal with plastic parts. The battery racks are metal, similar to IT server racks that can also be broken down and re-used. These raw materials can be converted back into functionally operating batteries or other useful equipment.
The advantage of battery technology is that through greater recycling initiatives in Australia, a greater burden on global supply chains from mining raw material and offshore logistics can help with long-term ethical sustainability of battery technology and reduce the impact on the environment.
Battery recycling is gaining momentum in Australia which is mostly driven by the Electric Vehicle (EV) market. The Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI) is creating opportunities to promote responsible recycling management. More information can be found here:
The battery enclosures, bi-direction inverters, transformers and switchgear equipment will be mounted on concrete hardstands and raised 300mm above the mapped 1 in 100-year flood event. Equipment that contains hazardous chemicals, such as the medium voltage transformers, will be contained within a bund.
Containment bunds will ensure if, in the unlikely event transformer oil is spilt, either when undergoing maintenance or operation, oil will not contaminate the environment. In addition, since the transformer oil bunds are open to rain water, they will have hydrocarbon-absorbent filters for rainwater collected containment bunds. There are many products in the market and is standard practice in the industry for managing MV transformer hardstands as they provide reliable means of preventing hydrocarbons from getting into the surface or groundwater.
Through the planning and environmental application process, a project is held to a high standard regarding the potential effects on the environment and any land or neighbouring property. This assesses what the change in condition to the land will do to affect stormwater runoff changes and proposes mitigation measures to ensure the change of surface conditions does not impact the surrounding land, watercourses, and environment. Aside from just the flow and management of rainfall, we consider contamination of surface water due to accidental spillage of materials such as fuel, lubricants, herbicides and other chemicals used during operational maintenance activities.
During the detail design phase, hydrology engineers will provide detail mitigation and management plans of water run off. The engineers consider operational maintenance scenarios, existing terrain and services, bunding of hazardous areas and filtration of open bund areas.
The detail design is also reviewed and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE). There are a suite of assessments through to the construction stage that ensures run off is managed, mitigated and complied with throughout the process, including:
- Storm Water Assessment
- Hydrological modelling
- Engineering detailed design
- Erosion and Sediment Control Plan
- Construction Environmental Management Plan
- Stormwater and Run Off Management Plan
- Hazardous material storage plan and emergency plan
- Australian Standards of equipment, infrastructure and construction
- Other Fire/ Emergency Plans mentioned above
- Full suite of further biodiversity and other environmental assessment/ environmental management plans
All of these plans will consider the potential for water run off in development, construction, operation, decommissioning and emergencies, and consider whether these risk of pollution through run off exists, to the level of assessment of Australian Standards, Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, and multiple EPA Acts and sub acts, including:
- Contaminated Land Management Act 1997
- Environmentally Hazardous Chemicals Act 1985
- National Environment Protection Council Act 1995
- Dangerous Goods Act 2008
A Preliminary Hazard Assessment will be undertaken as part of the initial Development Application. It is quite technical, but does give reassurance in the level of assessment we undertake. This is the first of many assessments that are required through the planning process to ensure a proposed project meets all safety and environment compliances. The BESS project will also complete further assessments before even getting to construction, including:
- Emergency Response Management Plan. To the satisfaction of State Government, Fire and Rescue, Council and other bodies
- Fire Management Plan. To the satisfaction of State Government, Fire and Rescue, Council and other bodies
- Fire Safety Study. Specific analysis and assessment of the BESS infrastructure to prove adherence to Australian standards and to the satisfaction of State Government
- Numerous other safety and environmental plans, covering off on safety to the community and environment