Renewable energy producer, Neoen, has completed financial close on the Victorian Big Battery, a 300 megawatt (MW) / 450-megawatt hour (MWh) battery storage facility located near Geelong, in Victoria. The project will be delivered in collaboration with Tesla and network partner AusNet Services.
Owned and operated by Neoen, the Victorian Big Battery will be one of the largest batteries in the world, providing stability to Victoria’s transmission network.
Financing of the big battery was completed just three months after Neoen secured a 250 MW grid services contract with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
The project will be funded by a combination of equity provided by Neoen and AUD160 million senior debt facility provided by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), on behalf of the Australian Government.
Construction has already commenced, and the project is on track to be delivered before the next Australian summer.
The System Integrity Protection Scheme (SIPS) contract will run until 2032, unlocking up to 250 MW of additional peak capacity on the existing Victoria to New South Wales Interconnector (VNI) over the next decade of Australian summers. Under the contract, the battery will provide an automatic response in the event of an unexpected network outage, providing AEMO with an additional resource to ensure grid stability.
Today, Neoen Australia’s Managing Director, Louis de Sambucy, said that the company is delighted to announce that the Victorian Big Battery has reached this important financial milestone.
“I would like to thank the CEFC for their renewed trust and commitment towards supporting innovative storage solutions. With the help and hard work of our partners, Tesla and AusNet Services, we are on track to deliver this project before the next Australian summer and are looking forward to playing our part in helping Victoria reach its ambitious target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030,” Mr de Sambucy said.
CEO of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Ian Learmonth, commented: “The CEFC is excited to finance the Victorian Big Battery, a world-class example of how utility-scale batteries can help electricity networks support a higher penetration of renewable energy.”
“The battery will provide grid support services when it is under pressure, allowing authorities to increase the capacity of the VNI by up to 250 MW. With more power flowing between the states, including during the peak summer season, the battery will contribute to grid reliability and security. We are delighted to work alongside Neoen and Tesla again, after helping finance the expansion of the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia in 2020,” he said.
Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP, said that the Victorian Big Battery is an important part of the largest modernisation of the grid in the state’s history.
“It will create jobs and drive down energy prices, while supporting our transition to renewable energy,” she said.
Neoen’s Chairman and CEO, Xavier Barbaro, added that the Victorian Big Battery once again demonstrates the value of innovative solutions that Neoen is proud to be pioneering.
“At 300 MW, it will be one of the largest batteries in the world, taking our total capacity in operation or under construction in Australia to over 1.8 gigawatts (GW), and bringing us one step closer to our global target of 5 GW by the end of 2021,” he concluded.