BlackRock raises over $500m for Waratah Super Battery

Rendered image of the Waratah Super Battery surrounded by forested area
Artist's impression of the Waratah Super Battery

BlackRock Alternatives has raised over AUD$500 million from Australian and global co-investors to accelerate the development of the Waratah Super Battery, bringing long-term private capital to support Australia’s orderly transition to a low-carbon economy.

Funds managed by BlackRock’s Infrastructure team1 will co-invest alongside to finance the construction of the Waratah Super Battery. This announcement coincides with Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo NSW)’s recent update that construction on the WSB site commenced in late May.

Related article: Waratah Super Battery gets planning approval

At 850MW/1680MWh, Waratah Super Battery will be one of the largest committed battery energy storage systems (BESS) in the world, both in terms of power and energy storage capacity. The Waratah Super Battery Project, of which the BESS is a major component, is a System Integrity Protection Scheme (SIPS) designed to act as a ‘shock absorber’ in the event of any sudden power surges, including from bush fires or lightning strikes.

The New South Wales Government has announced its intention to retire four of its five coal-powered energy stations in the next 11 years, making the deployment of battery storage assets critical to resolving the intermittency of renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power. Battery storage enhances the overall reliability of the grid by providing voltage management, system strength, inertia, and frequency control services.

Clean Energy Finance Corporation CEO Ian Learmonth said, “Long and short duration storage assets are critical to building an energy network fit for purpose in the 21st century, enabling Australia to capitalise on its abundant natural resources of wind and solar to decarbonise the grid. Battery storage underpins a future balanced grid, ensuring that more clean energy can reach more consumers and providing network stability as coal continues to exit the network earlier than predicted. Our investment in the Waratah Super Battery supports a secure grid powered by renewable energy and fit for a future, low emissions economy.”

Related article: Akaysha Energy to develop NSW’s Waratah Super Battery

BlackRock head of Australasia Andrew Landman said, “BlackRock is proud to deliver—on behalf of our clients—the long-term private capital that is required to invest in essential infrastructure projects like the Waratah Super Battery. This is a prime example of how the private sector can partner with governments at all levels to support Australia’s orderly transition to a low-carbon world. Ultimately, our contribution will support the delivery of a more diversified and secure energy mix for all Australians.”

Akaysha Energy, acquired by a fund managed by BlackRock’s Infrastructure business in August 2022, was appointed by EnergyCo as the SIPS Service Provider following a competitive procurement process conducted throughout 2022.

 

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