Lyon partners with Fluence, JERA to develop large solar+battery projects

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With two new partners onboard – Japan’s JERA and US-based Fluence, the long talked about solar+storage projects of Lyon Group’s tranche 1 are becoming more tangible.

The projects in question include: Cape York Solar Storage in Queensland with a solar PV capacity of 55 MW and 20 MW / 80 MWh of battery storage; Nowingi Solar Storage in Victoria with a solar capacity of 250 MW and 80 MW / 320 MWh; and Riverland Solar Storage with up to 330 MW of solar and 100 MW / 400 MWh storage in South Australia – which, once constructed, would be by far the world’s largest solar+battery plant.     

Moreover, the parties will assess utilization of utility and industrial scale battery storage solutions in new projects and at existing renewable and thermal generation plants across their collective operational footprints.

Under the collaboration agreement, Lyon would act as the project developer, JERA an investor and Fluence, the battery solution and service provider. 

“This collaboration agreement is based on a shared understanding that the world requires low emissions energy systems that are also secure, reliable and affordable. Utility-scale battery storage solutions across new and existing generation plants will be a key enabler,” said David Green, Lyon Chairman.

According to Green, Lyon’s tranche 1 projects will include four-hour Fluence battery storage systems and are scheduled to commence construction in the coming months, although originally the three projects were slated to break ground in 2017.

Another ambitious partnership for Lyon was made in 2016 with Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp with the goal to roll out 1 GW of solar and 500 MWh of battery storage by 2020.

Fluence, a joint venture between U.S. utility AES and global power giant Siemens launched in 2017, is already present on the Australian market with a deal to deliver a 30 MW / 30 MWh grid-connected battery located at the Ballarat terminal station. With completion slated for November, ARENA is providing $25 million towards the project, which will be owned by a consortium of Spotless, AusNet and EnergyAustralia.

While focused on the three Australian projects in the near term, the partners will also explore other energy storage opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, including JERA’s operating fleet in Japan. JERA, a 50-50 energy joint venture of Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, is said to have approximately 66 GW of power generation in Japan and around 8 GW overseas.

Last year, the Japanese venture snapped up 10% of Indian independent power producer ReNew Power for $200 million, which was its first acquisition in the renewables sector.