The City of Geelong Australia, Victoria, has inaugurated plans for the AUD 300 million ($ 185.5 million) battery system. The French renewable energy developer, Neoen, applied for a planning permit for the project, which was dubbed “Victoria’s Big Battery.”
The 600 MW battery storage facility will provide fast frequency response services to the National Electricity Market (NEM) and serve as a backup to increase electricity supply in Victoria, while also providing enhanced network reliability, the company said in application.
“Such energy storage facilities can reduce spot price volatility and protect networks from network disruptions thereby increasing reliability and potentially reducing power costs,” the company added.
As the largest battery operating developer in the world – the The large 100MW / 129MWh Tesla battery in South Australia, known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve – Neoen has enjoyed significant surge in income. Additional frequency control services (FCAS) provided by the Tesla Large Battery, which are now set to a 50% expansion, contributing mostly 56% jump in revenue supported by Neoen in the last quarter of last year.
In its first year of operation, the Tesla Large Battery saved nearly AUD40 million network stabilization costs. But perhaps the project’s most significant contribution is that it has raised its energy storage profile and has demonstrated its unique capabilities.
For its new battery project, Neoen is partnering with Mondo Power, a subsidiary of AusNet Services, which specializes in commercially and communityly distributed energy offerings. This project will be located at AusNet’s property Moorabool terminal station and potentially will feature a Tesla battery.
“While Tesla may not be the final equipment provider chosen for the project, their equipment is considered representative of a battery energy storage system of this size,” the company said in the application.
A project of this size is in line with the decision of the Victorian state government to avoid part of the rules governing NEM operations. The state is set to introduce laws that will fast track priority projects such as network scale batteries and increased transmission, as it seeks to make more room for more solar and wind power capacity in the network.
Victoria’s large battery joins a number of other network-scale battery storage proposals throughout Australia, which lead to next phase in the modernization of the country’s electricity network. This week alone, the Northern Territory proposes a AUD 30 million big battery for the Darwin-Katherine grid. In addition, almost all grid scale renewable energy projects in Australia are built on batteries.
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