15 Jun 2023

Macquarie, France’s Engie Launch Battery Storage Project in Australia

15 Jun 2023  by reuters   

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French gas and power group Engie is seen in Bouguenais near Nantes, France, October 5, 2020. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/file photo
France’s Engie SA, Fluence Energy and Eku Energy on Wednesday commissioned a 150 megawatt-hours battery storage project in Australia, the first to be set up at the site of a retired coal-fired power station in the country.

Funded by Engie and Eku Energy - jointly owned by Macquarie Group’s green investment arm and Canadian pension fund British Columbia Investment Management - the Hazelwood Battery Energy Storage System will be run by U.S. energy storage firm Fluence over 20 years.

“ENGIE’s delivery of the Hazelwood battery is part of our commitment to building long-term, reliable assets that play a key role in the future of Australia’s energy transition,” Engie ANZ CEO Rik De Buyserie said in a statement.

The Australian government has been promoting clean energy projects and pledging to invest A$20 billion ($13.6 billion) to rebuild the national power grid as part of a drive to cut carbon emissions by 43% by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The Hazelwood battery will store power when demand is low and move extra energy to the grid during peak summer and winter days when backup power is often needed, and unexpected power outages.

It has the capacity to store the equivalent of an hour of energy generated from the rooftop solar systems of 30,000 homes.

Engie is also looking to take advantage of the Hazelwood site to expand in energy storage as it has a transmission capacity of 1600 MW from its former days as a major coal-fired generator in the state of Victoria.

“With its access to transmission and available space at site, Hazelwood is the perfect location for an asset that can grow in depth and duration, increasing the hosting capacity for renewables,” De Buyserie said.


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