Akaysha quietly expands Victorian big battery proposal by 55%


BlackRock’s Akaysha Energy is upping the scope of its Elaine big battery, a storage project it is developing in the south-west of Victoria. 

Initially planned to have a capacity of 200 MW / 800 MWh, the company today confirmed its scope had grown and the battery will now be targeting a storage duration of 1,244 MWh. While the battery’s revised power output has not be confirmed, it will presumably sit at around 311 MW. 

The Victorian government approved the Elaine battery’s Planning Application just weeks ago, on November 17, but the public documents relating to the project still revolve around the initial proposed capacity of 200 MW / 800 MWh.

The project was initially forecast to require an investment between $400 – $500 million (USD 260 to 327 million). Again according to those earlier planning documents, the battery project was anticipated to cover a six hectare area. It is to be located 5 kilometres north west of the Victorian town of Elaine, sitting directly adjacent to the Elaine Terminal Station.

Akaysha Energy, which was acquired by US investment giant BlackRock in 2022, has been kicking goals in the Australian storage market. That same year it was awarded the contract for the 850 MW / 1,680 MWh Waratah Super Battery Project in New South Wales, despite not yet having developed an Australian battery project.

On Wednesday, it was announced the company had also won the NSW tender for its 415 MW / 1,660 MWh Orana battery.

Like the Orana battery, the Elaine battery is set to have four hours of storage. Until very recently, almost all Australia’s big lithium battery proposals and projects had no more than two hours of storage. Akaysha Energy’s CEO and managing director, Nick Carter, says four hours is set to be the “new normal” for duration in Australia.

“At Akaysha Energy, we are bullish on longer duration systems such as this four-hour system. Our in-house markets modelling, engineering and technical teams have all combined to provide us a strong view that four hours is the new normal for BESS duration in Australia,” he said.

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