The State Electricity Commission (SEC) has invested $245 million to the new Melbourne Renewable Hub, with construction already underway. This is the first investment from the SEC’s initial $1 billion towards building 4.5GW of new renewable energy generation and storage projects – helping to accelerate the energy transition and drive down the cost of energy bills.
The hub will be comprised of three battery components totalling 600MW in size, and is being developed in partnership with renewable energy investor Equis Australia. Once complete, the Hub will provide 1.6GW hours of energy storage.
Construction of the $1 billion storage facility is expected to create up to 155 jobs, including 14 apprentice and trainee roles.
The SEC funding is enabling construction to begin immediately and supporting one of the project’s battery components to double in size.
Major construction has begun and the hub is expected to be operational by 2025 – when it will start storing excess rooftop solar and surplus energy from the grid, providing extra power to meet Victoria’s growing demand.
The project is critical to meeting Victoria’s demand for storage, as well as the State Government’s target of at least 2.6GW of energy storage capacity by 2030 and 6.3GW by 2035.
Victoria is transitioning to 95 per cent renewable energy generation by 2035. With large amounts of solar and wind coming online, large-scale storage capacity is essential for storing the renewable energy from these new projects to further drive down bills for Victorian households.
The project will also help firm up energy generated by the SEC’s wind and solar projects, including the VRET 1, 2 and Bulgana contracts.
The SEC received more than 100 Registrations of Interest for its first investment, with a total combined market capacity of 24GW of generation and 30GW of storage capacity that will help the SEC build a pipeline of longer-term investment opportunities.
Victorian Premier, Jacinta Allan, said, “We’re building critical energy projects under the SEC – investing in our grid so household bills go down for every Victorian with cheaper and more reliable renewable energy across the state.”
Victorian Minister for Energy, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “The investment is a huge step forward in increasing Victoria’s renewable storage capacity – which is critical to meeting our nation leading targets of 95 per cent renewable energy generation by 2035.”
Equis Managing Director, David Russell, said that Equis is excited to partner with Victoria’s SEC to develop the Melbourne Renewable Energy Hub.
“Without this partnership, this project would not be going ahead at this scale and capacity today.”