ACT’s first grid-scale battery switched on

Image credit: Global Power Generation

The ACT’s first grid-scale battery, backed by the ACT Government, has been turned on, marking a significant step forwards in Canberra’s electrification journey.

According to the State Government, the battery has enough storage capacity to power about 3,000 homes for two hours and is now fully operating as part of the National Electricity Market. Global Power Generation (GPG) developed and owned the battery.

The State Government awarded GPG the contract in the 5th round of its renewable electricity reverse auction in 2019, supporting the State’s 100% renewable electricity supply.

Chief Minister and Minister for Climate Action Andrew Barr said the ACT has long been dedicated to ambitious renewable energy policy, which means the State now have advanced industry expertise and capabilities. Chief Minister Barr stated that this positions Canberra as an excellent location for investing in renewable energy technology.

Chief Minister Barr added that Canberra’s renewable energy and clean-tech businesses have drawn over $2 billion in large-scale wind and solar infrastructure investment across Australia and more than $500 million in direct investment into the Canberra region.

“This battery is a significant first for the city, given energy storage and battery technology are a critical component of our zero emissions future. We have even more battery storage on the horizon for the ACT, with a further 250 MW of grid-scale and neighbourhood batteries to be installed in the coming years as part of our Big Canberra Battery Project,” Chief Minister Barr said.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury claimed that the ACT continues to be a leader in Australia and worldwide regarding climate change response and renewable energy ambition. 

“We are committed to investing in sustainable energy infrastructure of the future to maintain a stable and reliable energy grid and continue to deliver some of the lowest electricity pipes in the country,” Minister Rattenbury stated.

According to Minister Rattenbury, as the State progress towards electrification, energy storage and battery technologies will be essential components of the city’s zero-emissions future, ensuring that the ACT continues to benefit from a secure, dependable, and inexpensive energy network.

“Energy storage will play an important role in the reliability of Territory’s electricity supply by providing power to help avoid blackouts during periods of high demand and help to mitigate situations when large, interstate fossil-fuel generators fail in heatwave conditions, reducing the amount of electricity available throughout the eastern states,” Minister Rattenbury added.

GPG Chief Business Development Officer Pedro Serrano said the company is thrilled to be a part of today’s Opening Ceremony to commemorate the start of operations for the ACT Battery. 

Serrano stated that today marks a significant milestone for both the ACT and GPG.

“Looking forward, we are excited about the future of renewable energy in Australia. Our commitment to this country is firm and this is reflected in our Strategic Plan. By 2025, we are planning 2.2 GW of installed power from renewable technologies (wind, solar photovoltaic and energy storage) and an investment of approximately 2,000 million euros,” Serrano added.