CEP.Energy is set to build the largest proposed grid scale battery in the world, under a new 30-year lease agreement with the Hunter Investment Corporation. 

The proposed battery will have up to 1200MW total capacity and will be based within the Hunter Economic Zone (HEZ) precinct at Kurri Kurri.  

The NSW battery would be the largest asset in CEP’s planned network of four grid-scale  batteries across the country, with total capacity up to 2000MW.  

Peter Wright, CEO of CEP, said the business is on track to become the largest battery storage asset owner in the Australian energy market.  

“CEP’s grid-scale battery network is part of our dual-track strategy to generate and store clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity for Australian businesses, and make excess power available to the national grid to firm up the increase in renewable generation,” Mr Wright said.  

“To achieve this, we have secured strategic locations with excellent access to existing network connection infrastructure. 

“We have also assembled a senior management team with outstanding credentials in national energy system design and management.  

“The HEZ site is zoned for heavy industrial use, pre-approved for power generation and located adjacent to existing substations. 

“It is among the best handful of sites in Australia for reliable and efficient grid connection.”

Mr Wright said the Hunter battery is proposed to be developed in stages. An expression of  interest process to select a battery provider will soon be issued.  

Commencement of construction of CEP’s NSW big battery is planned for the first quarter of  2022, while the target timeframe for commencement of operations is 2023.  

Morris Iemma, Chairman of CEP, said integrated grid-scale battery networks are accelerating Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.  

“Big batteries, including the one planned by CEP for the Hunter, will play a major role in filling the gaps left by the gradual retirement of coal and gas-fired generation assets, including the nearby Liddell Power Station,” Mr Iemma said.  

“The clean energy roadmap laid out by the NSW Government has provided the market with  the confidence to invest in renewable generation supported by large battery storage.  

“This project will help ensure the Hunter region of NSW remains true to its heritage as one of  the nation’s energy powerhouses as we work towards a cleaner, decarbonised future.”

The Energy Security Board Post 2025 Market Design Directions Paper, released in January  2021, states:

  • Over the next two decades 26-50GW of new, large scale variable renewable energy –- in addition to existing, committed and anticipated projects – is forecast to come online  
  • This will be supported by between 6GW and 19GW of new flexible and dispatchable  resources as approximately 16GW of thermal generation retires 

Mark Stedwell, CEP’s Chief Strategy Advisor and previously GM Real Time Operations and Systems Capability at the Australian Energy Market Operator, said, “Reliable battery storage will provide contingency supply to enable greater levels of variable renewable generation to penetrate the Australian energy market moving forward.  

“There is clearly scope for more big battery projects that stack up in terms of location and a  sustainable business model.”  

CEP’s grid-scale battery network will be progressed concurrently with its development of an  aggregated Virtual Power Plant (VPP) comprising 1500MW of industrial rooftop solar generation supported by up to 400MW of battery storage over the next five years.  

The rooftop VPP strategy is aimed at stimulating new jobs and economic activity in major  manufacturing and commercial hubs in Australia by reducing operating costs for energy  intensive businesses.  

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