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Battery storage to give affordable, long-term energy for western Vic

Battery storage to give affordable, long-term energy for western Vic

The new Energy Storage Initiative will deliver two large-scale battery storage projects to alleviate grid load in areas of western Victoria.

Firms: MinterEllison (Victorian government); Ashurst (Edify Energy and Spotless Sustainability Services); DLA Piper (ARENA)

Deal: A private consortium comprising Edify Energy and Spotless Sustainability Services will deliver two large-scale battery storage solutions as part of a Victorian state government energy funding program, the Energy Storage Initiative (ESI).

Value: $50 million

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Area: Infrastructure, energy, finance

Key players: MinterEllison lead partner Kylie Diwell (pictured) advised Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) on its energy funding program. Partner Peter Bock and senior associate Darshini Nanthakumar assisted with the deal.

Significance: Law firm MinterEllison has been advising DELWP with respect to innovative energy storage technologies at both the state and national level.

The latest development for the DELWP energy funding initiative, named EIS, is the start of construction for two large-scale, grid-connected battery projects.

According to MinterEllison, a Tesla 25MW/50MWh battery will be integrated with the Gannawarra Solar Farm, while another 30MW/30MWh system will be connected directly to a power grid intersection at a substation at Warrenheip.

Construction has begun for both project sites, which are intend to be operating by energy peak of summer 2019. The state government hopes that the new infrastructure can improve the performance and reliability of Victoria’s energy capabilities.

Both projects, located south-west of Kerang and near Ballarat, are being delivered by private consortia Edify Energy and Spotless Sustainability Services.

The $50 million battery storage projects were made possible with $25 million from the Victorian Labor government and matched funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

MinterEllison said that the battery developments were expected to achieve project financial close prior to the end of March 2018. 

“We’ve helped to bring together key resources to manage multiple workstreams in a highly time-pressured environment, including working collaboratively with ARENA as a co-funder,” lead partner Kylie Diwell said.

“It’s been a great experience working with the department’s team as they harness the great potential of battery technologies to move Victoria to a more reliable and clean energy system.”

The department has also been advised on bidder consortium arrangements with stakeholders including the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Energy Regulator, network service providers and the Victorian Essential Services Commission.

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