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French developer Neoen to build 300MW/450MWh battery storage unit in Australia

November 05, 2020

The Guardian:

One of the largest lithium-ion batteries in the world is planned for Victoria after the renewable energy company Neoen won a contract to build it near the regional city of Geelong.

If constructed as promised, the battery will have a power capacity of 300 megawatts and a storage capacity of 450 megawatt-hours, making it more than twice the size of the battery at Hornsdale, South Australia, which was the biggest in the world when it began operating in 2017.

Like the Hornsdale facility, the Geelong battery will be built using Tesla equipment. The Victorian energy and climate change minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, said it would be installed near Moorabool Terminal Station and would be ready for the 2021-22 summer.

It has been scaled back since it was first flagged in April when it was expected to be 600MW and cost $300m. While among the largest batteries in the world, it is smaller than batteries planned in California and New York.

D’Ambrosio said it would improve the reliability of the power grid as ageing coal-fired power stations became less reliable and the state increased its reliance on wind and solar power. The Andrews government aims to source 40% of the state’s electricity from renewable energy by 2025, and 50% by 2030.

She said consumers would pay for the use of the battery through their power bills, but suggested it would lead to a reduction in wholesale energy prices so that Victorians were charged less for electricity. Independent analysis found that Victorians would receive $2 in benefits for every $1 invested in the battery, she said. Energy consultancy Aurecon found the Hornsdale Power Reserve saved consumers $116m in 2019.

[Adam Morton]

More: Victoria plans 300MW Tesla battery to help stabilise grid as renewables increase

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