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A significant milestone has been made in Canberra’s pathway to electrification, with the first grid-scale battery being switched on.

Global Power Generation (GPG) was awarded an ACT Government contract to supply the ACT with renewable electricity in Round 5 of the ACT Government’s renewable electricity reverse auctions in 2019, supporting the ACT’s 100 per cent renewable electricity supply.

ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Climate Action, Andrew Barr, said the ACT has long been committed to ambitious renewable energy policies and sets Canberra up as a great place to invest in renewable energy technology.

“Canberra’s renewable energy and clean-tech industries have attracted over $2 billion dollars of investment in large-scale wind and solar infrastructure across Australia, and more than $500 million dollars of investment directly into the Canberra region,” Mr Barr said.

“This battery is a significant first for the city, given energy storage and battery technology are a critical component of our zero emissions future. We have even more battery storage on the horizon for the ACT, with a further 250MW of grid-scale and neighbourhood batteries to be installed in the coming years as part of our Big Canberra Battery Project.”

Located in Beard, the battery has enough storage to power approximately 3,000 homes for two hours and is now fully operational as part of the National Electricity Market. The battery is developed and owned by GPG, a subsidiary of Spanish energy giant Naturgy.

ACT Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Shane Rattenbury, said the ACT continues to be an energy leader in Australia with an ambitious response to climate change and ACT government’s renewable energy goal. 

“From the petrol in our cars to the gas cooktops, hot-water systems and heating in our homes, fossil fuels make up a significant proportion of the energy mix in the ACT. As we transition away from fossil fuels, demand for electricity is going to increase,” Mr Rattenburg said.

“We are committed to investing in sustainable energy infrastructure of the future to maintain a stable and reliable energy grid and continue to deliver some of the lowest electricity prices in the country.”

Energy storage and battery technology is a critical component of the city’s zero-emissions future and the move towards electrification, so the ACT can continue to benefit from a secure, reliable and affordable energy network.

Energy storage will play an important role in the reliability of Territory’s electricity supply by providing power to help avoid blackouts during periods of high demand and help to mitigate situations when large, interstate fossil-fuel generators fail in heatwave conditions, reducing the amount of electricity available throughout the eastern states.

GPG Chief Business Development Officer, Pedro Serrano, said GPG are thrilled to celebrate the commencement of operations of the ACT Battery, a significant milestone for ACT and for GPG.

“The launch of commercial operation of this facility represents an important step in strengthening our contribution to the energy transition.” Mr Serrano said.

“Our commitment to Australia is firm and this is reflected in our Strategic Plan. By 2025, we are planning 2.2GW of installed power from renewable technologies (wind, solar photovoltaic and energy storage) and an investment of approximately 2,000 million euros.”

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