Big battery moving in down the road

November 16, 2020 BY

More juice: The Tesla battery planned for Moorabool would have twice the current capacity as one built in South Australia. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE largest battery in the southern hemisphere is set to be built in Moorabool to help improve Victoria’s energy system and its reliability.

Renewable energy company Neoen Australia have been contacted to build the 300-megawatt battery

It will be constructed using Tesla equipment at 250 Steiglitz Road, Moorabool, across from the terminal station, which is about nine kilometres from Bannockburn.

Geelong Regions Alliance chief executive officer Elaine Carbines said the group was pleased to see the project approved.

“G21 through our economic development and environment pillars has over many months been supporting the prospect of the battery coming to the region,” she said.

“It is a logical fit given the huge investment in wind power in the region and our proximity to the power lines necessary to connect to the state and national power grid.”

State minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio directed the Australian Energy Market Operator to sign the contract with Neoen Australia.

She said the battery would create new jobs while also moving Victoria closer to its renewable energy targets.

“The big battery will help protect our network in summer, create jobs and drive down energy prices, as well as supporting our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Victoria is embracing new technologies that will unlock more renewable energy projects than ever before, delivering clean, cheap, reliable power to all Victorians.”

The State Government is expecting the battery to create more than 85 jobs through its construction and six full-time jobs once up and running.

Tesla chair of the board Robyn Denholm praised the State Government for their commitment to the project at a webinar last Thursday, 5 November.

“For me that takes courage and shows real leadership,” Ms Denholm said. “It will lower energy prices while improving grid reliability.”

Yet State opposition spokesperson, Ryan Smith, the shadow minister for energy and renewables, criticised the planned location of the battery.

While supportive of the battery project, he said it would be better placed closer to the bulk of the western region’s wind energy production, claiming that nearly 25 per cent of power created is lost via transmission.

“This big battery should be built at Mortlake, as we proposed in June, not at Moorabool,” Mr Smith said.

“The Victorian Liberal Nationals support renewable energy, reducing our emissions and investing in large scale battery technologies to store clean power.

“What we don’t support is building such batteries in areas that make neither environmental nor economic sense.

The project is estimated to be complete by the summer of 2021-22.

 

– KLAUS NANNESTAD

 

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