Neoen’s 300MW system battery, the biggest in the southern hemisphere, is now in operation.
Located at the Moorabool Terminal Station near Geelong, the battery aims to modernise Victoria’s electricity grid, support new renewable energy capacity and improve the reliability of power supply in the face of increasingly hot summers.
The battery reserves 80 per cent of its capacity (250MW) to allow the energy market operator to increase the power flow through the Victoria-New South Wales Interconnector over the next ten years.
Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “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.”
Neoen delivered the battery in collaboration with Tesla, deploying its Megapack technology, and AusNet Services.
Neoen Australia’s Managing Director, Louis de Sambucy, said, “We are extremely proud to have delivered the largest battery in Australia in record time.
“With 2GW of projects in our pipeline in Victoria, we are committed to continuing to play our part in Victoria’s renewable energy transition.”
Neoen’s Chairman and CEO, Xavier Barbaro, said, “The delivery of the Victorian big battery is a major achievement for Neoen, not only because it is one of the largest batteries in the world, but also because it represents another key milestone in terms of innovation.
“Our journey in storage began in Australia in 2015 and we now have over half a gigawatt of storage operating across three continents.
“We are convinced that large-scale battery storage is a vital element of the energy transition, and we are proud of our leadership in this sector.”
The announcement of operation comes 12 months after Neoen was awarded a grid services contract with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
The battery was delivered after the Victorian Government directed the Australian Energy Market Operator to source a System Integrity Protection Scheme (SIPS) using new legislation that was passed in 2020 to bring forward critical transmission investments.
The battery will provide an automatic response in the event of an unexpected network outage, providing AEMO with additional means of ensuring grid stability.
In the event of an unexpected network outage between November to March, the battery will automatically discharge energy within seconds, ramping to full output of 250MW.
This will allow AEMO time to safely optimise interconnector flows and dispatch other generation and storage within Victoria to keep the system stable and secure.
The battery effectively doubles current grid-scale battery capacity in the National Electricity Market.
It’s capable of maximising the benefits from intermittent renewable generation, soaking-up and discharging energy when needed.
Construction of the project created over 150 construction jobs and six full-time permanent positions, while local suppliers have been contracted for multiple elements of the project.
Community initiatives will be supported through an annual Community Benefit Fund over the asset’s lifetime.