BlackRock, a US investment giant, has confirmed that it purchased Akaysha Energy, Melbourne’s battery storage developer. The company will invest $1 billion to roll out its portfolio of nine big battery projects in Australia in the next three to five years.
BlackRock is the biggest player to enter the battery storage sector in the country so far, and it’s expected that their entry will result in a bit of a shake-up.
Australia needs a lot of battery storage as coal plants retire and more wind and solar projects are launched and used. However, BlackRock will be competing directly with established players and business plans in pursuit of its own portfolio.
The first will be their 150MW, two-hour battery called Ulinda Park, which will be located near the Kogan Creek coal generator in the Western Downs region of Queensland. Now, the strategy with Akaysha will be to own and operate some assets.
The other two identified batteries in their portfolio are unique—one is the Orana near Wellington in the central west of NSW, where the state’s first renewable energy zone sits, that is proposing up to eight hours of storage.
Then the other is next to the Palmerston sub-station near Launceston, which will be Tasmania’s first big battery. It also has plans to deploy advanced inverters and become a “virtual synchronous machine” for the island’s grid.