Canberra, is set to become host to two big battery projects, with the Government of the Australian Capital Territory ACT announcing that two companies that will supply additional 200MW of wind power to the national capital at record low prices will also both build big batteries within the ACT, Reneweconomy.com.au reports.
The ACT government revealed the two successful bids from its latest reverse auction on Tuesday morning, securing long term off-take agreements to two 100MW wind power developments, with an additional 60MW of big batteries to be located in Canberra.
Neoen SA, Paris, France, will supply the ACT with 100MW of wind power from the first stage of its massive Goyder Renewables Zone in South Australia, along with a 50MW battery in the ACT. The price it bid is a record low for Australia wind projects.
The ACT government’s auction requirements specified that just 20MW of battery capacity in total would be sought under the auction, but Neoen opted to build a bigger asset, following the success of the Hornsdale power reserve in South Australia, and may expand the facility to 150MW with one or two hours storage.
Global Power Generation (GPG), a joint venture between Grupo Naturgy, Madrid, Spain, and Kuwait Investment Authority, was the other successful bidder and will supply 100MW of wind power from the second stage of the Berrybank wind farm in Western Victoria, along with a 10MW/20MWh battery, also to be built in the national capital.
The ACT, however, saw the big batteries as extra security against blackouts “when large fossil fuel generators fail in heatwave conditions.”
Both Neoen and Global Power Generation had been successful bidders under prior auctions run by the ACT government, with Neoen CEO Xavier Barbaro saying that the company was pleased to continue its relationship with Canberra.
“Our Australian story began in the ACT and this fourth contract underscores our extraordinary track record in being able to deliver competitive pricing and build robust, innovative projects,” Barbaro said. “We are currently managing all of our Australian assets, including the world’s first big battery, from our Canberra office, and will continue to apple these learnings across Neoen’s growing Australian and international portfolio”.
The big batteries will store the equivalent of an hours worth of power for around 15,000 Canberra households, providing an extra level of insurance in case of a blackout.
The ACT government announced that it would undertake a fresh round of reverse auctions in October last year, and are designed to top-up the ACT’s supplies of renewable electricity to ensure it maintains its status as 100 per cent renewably powered as demand grows.
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