Friday, January 27, 2023

Flicking the switch on Australia’s biggest battery

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Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change , Media Release, 8 December 2021

Victoria’s Big Battery – the biggest in the southern hemisphere − is now operating, safeguarding the state’s energy supply through our hot summer months, driving down electricity prices and supporting the state’s massive renewable energy build.

Photo: courtesy Government of Victoria

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today officially launched the battery − developed by renewable energy specialist Neoen and located at the Moorabool Terminal Station near Geelong.

The 300-megawatt Tesla system is the largest battery in the southern hemisphere and created more than 150 jobs during construction. It will help modernise the state’s electricity grid, support new renewable energy capacity and improve the reliability of power supply in the face of increasingly hot summers.

The battery was delivered thanks to the Andrews Labor Government directing the Australian Energy Market Operator to source a System Integrity Protection Scheme (SIPS) using new legislation that was passed by the Government in 2020 to bring forward critical transmission investments.

This direction led to Neoen successfully bidding to bring the new battery online using Tesla Megapack technology.

The battery reserves 80 per cent of its capacity to allow the energy market operator to increase the power flow through the Victoria-New South Wales Interconnector. This means Victoria has access to more power when it is most needed and can deal with challenges in the transmission system.

The battery will also help reduce wholesale prices – and people’s power bills – by storing cheap renewable energy and discharging it when needed. Independent analysis shows that every $1 invested in the battery will deliver $2.40 in benefits to Victorian households and businesses.

Climate change is leading to longer, hotter summers, with more days of extreme heat causing increased peak demands. Victoria’s ageing coal-fired generators are becoming increasingly strained during summer. The battery will play an important role in helping support the energy system on hot days.

Increased energy storage technology plays a key role in helping unlock renewable energy, with Victoria seeing renewable energy generation jump from around 10 per cent in 2014 to over 30 per cent this year, creating more jobs in renewables than any other state in Australia.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“We are proud to be flicking on the switch for Australia’s biggest battery which will help protect our network in summer, support our renewable revolution and reduce energy prices.”

“The Victorian Big Battery will deliver cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable power and help us reach our ambitious target of halving emissions by 2030.”

Quote attributable to Member for Lara John Eren

“I’m so proud to see this project up and running, delivering energy reliability to all Victorians. It’s a fantastic achievement for Geelong and will help the state shore up energy reliability during hotter, longer summers.”

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