Macquarie Group’s [MQG:AU] green investment unit has formed a collaboration with France’s Engie SA [ENGIE:FP] and the US energy storage firm Fluence Energy [FLNC:US] to construct an energy storage project in Victoria State, Australia, as reported by Reuters on December 1. Macquarie’s subsidiary and Engie will fund the project while Fluence will be responsible for the construction and operation for a 20-year period. The battery will have the capability to store and deliver 150 megawatt-hours (MWh) of power with a construction cost of less than AUD1m per megawatt (MW), implying a total expense of up to AUD150m (USD107m). The project is under construction now and is expected to be completed by November 2022 to provide substitute power during the southern hemisphere summer.
The energy storage project would be key to raising the renewable energy capacity in Victoria and securing the stability of the grid system, according to a common statement by the three companies. The battery will connect to the existing grid infrastructure and expand the power storage capacity of renewable energy, as renewable energy is saddled with a low utilization rate due to its intermittency. Moreover, the grid-connected battery will be equipped with Fluence’s Gridstack technology to provide flexible power capacity and benefit from Engie’s superb power transmission capability reaching 1600MW. Last November, the state of Victoria rolled out the Victorian Budget 2020/21 where the Andrews Labor Government will spend a history-high investment of USD1.6bn on building renewable energy hubs, improving crucial grid infrastructure, and decarbonizing the energy system. The state has raised the share of power generation from renewable energy to over 26% in 2020, targeting 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.