Neoen commences Victorian Big Battery operation

Aerial photo of Neoen's Victorian Big Battery at sunrise (australia)
Neoen's Victorian Big Battery

French renewables leader Neoen has officially begun operating its 300MW/450MWh Victorian Big Battery—one of the largest batteries in the world.

The battery storage facility is located next to Moorabool Terminal Station in Geelong, Victoria. It was delivered in collaboration with Tesla, deploying its Megapack technology, and network partner AusNet Services.

A fire broke out at the battery back in August, with Energy Safe Victoria declaring it the result of a cooling system leak.

Related article: Cooling system leak led to Victorian Big Battery fire

The Victorian Big Battery has a 250MW System Integrity Protection Scheme (SIPS) contract with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Initiated by the Victorian Government, the scheme unlocks up to 250MW of additional peak capacity on the existing Victoria to New South Wales Interconnector (VNI) over the next decade of Australian summers.

Under the contract, the battery will provide an automatic instant response in the event of an unexpected network outage, providing AEMO with an additional means of ensuring grid stability. The battery will also participate in the National Electricity Market and support increased penetration of renewables in Victoria through network services such as fast frequency control.

The Victorian Big Battery will contribute to the modernisation of the Victorian electricity network and will be instrumental in helping the State reach its target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030. Independent analysis predicts that for every $1 invested the battery will deliver $2.40 in benefits to Victorian households and businesses.

Neoen says the Victorian Big Battery project has also brought a significant economic boost to the Geelong region through the COVID-19 lockdown period, creating over 150 construction jobs and 6 full time permanent positions. Local suppliers have been contracted for multiple elements of the project and community initiatives will be supported through an annual Community Benefit Fund over the asset’s lifetime.

Neoen Australia managing director Louis de Sambucy said, “We are extremely proud to have delivered the largest battery in Australia in record time. I would like to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly to make this happen; our partners at Tesla and AusNet, UGL and Downer, as well as AEMO and the Victorian Government.

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“We are honoured to be contributing a project of this scale and innovation. With 2GW of projects in our pipeline in Victoria, we are committed to continuing to play our part in Victoria’s renewable energy transition.”

Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP said, “The Victorian Government is proud to flick the switch on Australia’s biggest battery which will help protect our network in summer, support our renewable revolution, and slash energy prices. Neoen’s battery is a fantastic achievement as Victoria transitions to our legislated targets of 50 per cent renewables by 2030 and net zero by 2050.”

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