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Macquarie Asset Management’s Green Investment Group (GIG) and Shell Energy Operations have partnered to develop a 200MW/400MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) in Victoria. 

Once fully operational, the utility-scale Rangebank BESS will have the capacity to power the equivalent of 80,000 homes across Victoria for an hour during peak periods.

The project, to be built on two hectares of land within the Rangebank Business Park in Melbourne’s southeast, has reached financial close and is expected to be completed in late 2024.

Developed by GIG and Shell Energy, the project will increase Victoria’s renewable energy hosting capacity while providing essential system services aiming to support the safe, secure and reliable operation of Australia’s power system. Through an offtake agreement, Shell Energy will have access to 100 per cent of the battery’s offtake over a 20-year period.

The partnership between GIG and Shell demonstrates how the combination of innovative offtake arrangements, when coupled with low-cost financing, can unlock the benefits of battery energy storage systems for end energy users.

Global Head of Energy Technology at GIG, Greg Callman, said, “Grid-scale batteries are an essential element in the decarbonisation of the energy sector, and the need for storage solutions is growing rapidly. GIG is delighted to partner with Shell Energy to deliver this project which will help provide communities with reliable and flexible energy.”

Shell Energy Australia Chief Executive Officer, Greg Joiner, said he is looking forward to working with GIG to bring improved reliability to energy consumers in Victoria.

“The Rangebank project is our first grid-scale battery investment in Victoria and marks Shell’s first direct equity investment in a utility-scale BESS globally. This signals Shell Energy’s commitment to accelerating the energy transition and contributing to growth of firming capacity,” Mr Joiner said.

“Located in one of Melbourne’s fastest-growing population centres, the Rangebank BESS will help to stabilise Victoria’s state electricity supply by providing additional storage capacity which can be discharged at times of peak demand.”

The project is also supported by minority equity partner Perfection Private. 

Perfection Private CEO, Steven Murphy, said, “Perfection Private is delighted to invest with GIG and Shell Energy to deliver the BESS at Rangebank. We are proud to demonstrate that with creative thinking, it can be commercially viable to enable a more sustainable energy future.”

The Rangebank BESS will be built, serviced, and maintained by Fluence, a global provider of energy storage products and services, and cloud-based software for renewables and storage, utilising Fluence’s latest Gridstack product.

Vice President of Sales, APAC at Fluence, David Mikaeloff, said, “The Rangebank BESS project is another milestone for Fluence in Australia. We are thrilled to be able to partner with both GIG and Shell Energy Australia to deliver this important project.”

GIG and Shell Energy will continue to engage with local stakeholders as the project progresses.

GIG’s interest in the project will transfer to Eku Energy, a global battery storage platform which was established by GIG in 2022. Eku Energy’s 4GWh development pipeline of digitally enabled, flexible, utility-scale storage projects will provide vital grid services in key markets around the world, including the UK, Australia, Japan, and Taiwan.

Feature image: BESS concept image. Provided by Shell Energy.

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