Awaba BESS

Awaba Battery Energy Storage

The proposed Awaba Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is a 50MW stand-alone battery to be located adjacent to Ausgrid’s Awaba Substation in the Greater Newcastle region of NSW.

Once operational, the Awaba BESS will provide a range of electricity and power market services – supporting Firm Power’s mission to power the clean energy transition.

The Awaba BESS forms part of the Hunter Dispatchable Energy System (HDES) – a distributed stand-alone battery system for the Hunter region, designed to balance the grid and support the performance and future uptake of renewable energy in NSW. 


The Awaba BESS is currently at an early stage of development with land secured and the initial phases of planning and grid connection underway. The development phase of the project is expected to complete in late 2023.


Approximately 0.5ha of land has been secured immediately adjacent to the Awaba Substation. The land is zoned SP2 Infrastructure and supports the construction and operations of a battery energy storage system.


The planning approval pathway for the project is via the State Significant Development process. The project has submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment, exhibited to the public and responded to submissions. It is now in the assessment phase with the NSW Department Planning and Environment.


As part of the grid strategy, Firm Power will submit connection applications to Ausgrid, including system studies and models which cover the performance of the BESS. Following review of the connection applications by Ausgrid and AEMO it is expected that an offer to connect will be produced followed by a connection agreement. Preliminary enquiries, along with system planning advice have been completed and the project is now in the application to connect phase.

Construction & Operations

Once all necessary approvals, agreements and authorisations have been obtained, construction activities for the Awaba BESS project can commence.

Construction is expected to take up to 12 months and involves site preparation, delivery and installation, and testing and commissioning stages. Preparation of the site includes civil works to make it suitable for the BESS equipment, such as earthworks, drainage and foundations. Following this, electrical equipment such as battery module enclosures, inverters, transformers, switchgear and ancillary systems are delivered to site, installed and connected. The last step in construction is the testing and commissioning process where the BESS’s installation is validated and made ready for operation.​

The BESS is expected to operate for approximately 20 years. During this period operational work will generally involve monitoring, testing and maintenance of equipment as well as deliveries, waste removal and other general site maintenance (such as care of groundcover). During this period the site will be monitored and controlled remotely with staff and contractors coming to site periodically for the other activities.

At the BESS end of life, the site will either be reconditioned or remediated. This involves the removal of all above-ground infrastructure and any works needed to return the land to a safe, clean and stable state.


The Awaba BESS will bring new sustainable technology to the local area and create construction jobs, opportunities for local suppliers and ongoing project roles. Firm Power is interested in talking to members of the community who have an interest in energy storage or who would like to discuss education, provision of services or employment opportunities that may exist in the future.

If you have any questions or concerns about the project, or would just like to discuss the project, you can contact our team directly by filling out the following form or calling 1800 749 338.


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