US investment giant BlackRock is planning to invest at least $1 billion in big battery projects in Australia after agreeing to buy out Melbourne-based Akaysha Energy and its portfolio of at least nine projects in the country’s main grid.
This is the first battery storage investment made by BlackRock’s Climate Infrastructure business in the Asia-Pacific region and its biggest anywhere in the world. The entry of the deep-pocketed BlackRock will likely change the dynamics of the growing Australian battery storage market.
The most advanced project in Akaysha’s portfolio is the 150MW, 300MWh Ulinda Park battery next to the Kogan Creek coal generator in the Western Downs region of Queensland that it is co-developing, along with another two batteries in Queensland, with Renewable Energy Partners.
But its biggest project is the 1600MWh Orana big battery near Wellington in the central west of NSW, which could feature up to eight hours of storage and will be seeking a role in the state government’s Central West Orana renewable energy zone.
Its other projects include a big battery at the Palmerston substation near Launceston in Tasmania, which would use advanced inverters and act as a “virtual synchronous machine”, and would also be the first big battery in the island state.
The other projects in the portfolio are yet to be publicly revealed.
More: US investment giant BlackRock in $1 billion big battery play in Australia