American investment powerhouse BlackRock’s portfolio company Akaysha Energy announced it has finalised a 10-year battery revenue swap arrangement with Bermuda-based risk transfer platform Re2 Capital that hedges the market risk for its Ulinda Park project in Queensland.
The Ulinda Park battery energy storage system is being developed adjacent to the Western Downs Substation at Hopeland near Chinchilla in Queensland’s Western Downs region.
Melbourne-based Akaysha said the 150 MW battery, which will feature two hours of energy storage capacity, will support the rapid expansion of solar and wind projects leveraging existing transmission infrastructure in the region.
Akaysha said it has already received development approval from the Western Down Council for the project and is currently progressing grid connection as it continues to work towards a final investment decision. The company expects the Ulinda Park battery will commence operations in 2025.
While complete details of the revenue swap agreement struck with Re2 have not been released, Akaysha said the “groundbreaking battery storage financial product” allows “rapid investment/capital deployment and a great risk profile of contracted and unhedged revenue.”
“The revenue swap product that we have developed with Re2 is exactly the sort of innovative offtake product that we need in the market right now to help accelerate the build-out of large-scale battery projects like Ulinda Park,” Akaysha Chief Executive and Managing Director Nick Carter said.
“The 10-year revenue swap provides the right balance of contracted and unhedged revenue, while still allowing us to operate the project and bid into the energy and FCAS markets in the NEM.”
Re2 Chief Executive Officer Richard Oduntan said risk management solutions driven by the private sector will be essential to the build out of energy storage systems at a scale necessary to support the continued growth of variable renewable energy in Australia.
“We are … excited to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Akaysha and BlackRock on this risk transfer transaction,” Oduntan said. “And we look forward to continuing to play a catalysing role in the energy transition.”
The Ulinda Park battery project is one of a portfolio of large-scale battery energy storage projects Akaysha, which was acquired by BlackRock in 2022, is progressing in Queensland, New South Wales (NSW), South Australia and Tasmania.
Akaysha is building the 850 MW/1,680 MWh Waratah Super Battery near Doyalson on the NSW Central Coast and has secured development approval for the Orana big battery near Wellington in the state’s central-west which could have between 400 MW to 1,600 MW of capacity and 1,600 MWh of storage.
Other projects in its portfolio include the 200 MW/800 MWh Elaine big battery in Victoria, the Palmerston battery energy storage system in Tasmania, and the 200 MW/800 MWh Mobilong big battery in South Australia.
The company has also announced plans to develop a 300 MW/1,200 MWh battery and 200 MWp solar farm near Brinkworth in South Australia’s mid-north region.
Akaysha said its battery projects will involve a mix of contracted and merchant capacity, involving different revenue streams including energy arbitrage as well as grid services as markets develop for products such as inertia.
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