Akaysha fast tracks 710 MWh of battery projects with new financing


American investment powerhouse BlackRock’s portfolio company Akaysha Energy announced the close of a $250 million (USD 163.9 million) debt raise that provides funding for the Ulinda Park and Brendale battery energy storage projects being developed in Queensland.

Construction has already commenced on the 155 MW / 300 MWh Ulinda Park battery system being built at Hopeland near Chinchilla in Queensland’s Western Downs region.

The 205 MW / 410 MWh Brendale battery is being developed in Brisbane’s northern suburbs. The site, owned by Unitywater, is next to the South Pine substation, the central node of Queensland’s electricity grid.

Melbourne-based Akaysha, acquired by investment giant Blackrock in 2022, said construction of the Brendale project, which will feature Tesla Megapack technology, is expected to start “imminently.”

U.S.-based equipment manufacturer Powin is supplying the battery technology for the Ulinda Park project while balance of plant for both projects is being delivered by Adelaide-headquartered Consolidated Power Projects (CPP).

Akaysha said the projects are expected to commence commercial operations in 2025.

The projects will provide ancillary services, such as energy arbitrage, contingency and regulation frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) to support the National Electricity Market (NEM) and its rapid expansion of solar and wind projects.

Charlie Reid, BlackRock’s co-head of climate infrastructure for Asia-Pacific, said the Ulinda Park and Brendale battery projects will significantly bolster the delivery of a stable supply of energy across the national grid.

“BlackRock has identified the transition to a low-carbon economy as one of the key mega forces driving investments around the world,” he said.

“It will likely require an investment of around USD 200 trillion in capital, presenting a substantial investment challenge.”

“This capital raise represents a significant step towards accelerating that transition, positioning Australia to establish itself as a global renewable superpower.”

Akaysha Managing Director of finance and investments Andrew Wegman said the financing will be pivotal “to supporting the energy transition and improving grid stability” as the company enters the construction phase of more than 4 GWh of energy storage projects.

“This financing unlocks capital to be recycled into the construction and development of Akaysha’s extensive pipeline of BESS projects in Australia and internationally,” he said.

Akaysha has a portfolio of nine projects proposed across the NEM, including the 850 MW / 1,680 MWh Waratah Super Battery being built at Lake Munmorah in New South Wales.

It is also developing the 415 MW / 1,660 MWh Orana battery near Wellington in central-west NSW, the 200 MW/800 MWh Elaine big battery in Victoria, the 100 MW/200 MWh 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.

The new $250 million finance package, supported by a group of seven banks including the CBA, has a tenor of three years. The portfolio financing also provides more than $100 million of Letters of Credit to support the Ulinda Park and Brendale battery projects’ security obligations.

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