Maoneng make public plans for Mornington 240 MWp/480 MWh big battery

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Australian-Chinese group Maoneng is proposing to build a 240 MWp/480 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on the popular Mornington Peninsula on the Victorian coast. The proposed site is in Tyabb and has been chosen as it sits adjacent to AusNet’s existing Tyabb substation.

Maoneng lodged a planning permit application with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to build the big battery in December 2020 and its plans just have opened for public exhibition.

The company is currently undertaking a competitive tender process to select its contractor for the project, and says its aiming to have the big battery completed by late 2022.

Maoneng’s proposed site is 6.7 hectares, flat, and largely already cleared of vegetation, making it ideal for such a project, the company says. Interested parties will now be able to lodge a submission to the Victorian Department, with Maoneng saying it encourages the community to engage it with any queries they have.

The Mornington Peninsula traditionally experiences fluctuations in its demand for electricity, primarily because of seasonal tourism. Maoneng’s co-founder and CEO Morris Zhou said the Mornington BESS represented an important piece of the puzzle here. “A vital part of the Victorian Government’s Renewable Energy Action Plan is the integration of energy storage. Our facility directly supports this strategy and will play a key role in local grid stability,” Zhou said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Maoneng submitted plans to construct a 225 MW/450 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) on a 30-hectare site at Gould Creek, about 20 kilometres north of Adelaide’s city centre. The $112.5 million Gould Creek battery storage project builds on the company’s Australian portfolio which includes a deal to develop four large-scale batteries, each 50 MW/100 MWh in capacity in New South Wales, for energy giant AGL.

The deal includes a 15-year contract that will allow AGL to call on capacity from the batteries at a fixed price. The batteries are expected to be installed by 2023.

Australia’s big battery boom

Data supplied by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) shows that financial commitments for new utility-scale battery projects in Australia increased four-fold between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021, from 150 MW to 600 MW in the first three months of this year.

As well as those projects to have reached financial close, the CEC said at least 15 other large-scale battery storage projects have been announced this year, representing more than 6.6 GW of capacity and $4.3 billion in investment.

That number is likely to increase with the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) proposing a new rule in April to bring new, ultra-fast frequency services into the NEM, services that will come largely from batteries.

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