ENERGY STORAGE

Pacific Green to develop 2.5GWh Australian battery energy park as it targets 12GWh globally

February 7, 2024

Battery storage developer Pacific Green has announced a proposal to develop one of Australia’s largest grid-scale battery energy parks, a 2.5GWh project in Portland, Victoria that will include four 250MW battery energy projects in total, a 500/33kV collector, and a 500kV terminal station and grid connection to the existing 500kV transmission line.

The announcement came as Pacific Green said it was targeting more than 12GWh of battery energy storage capacity across four global markets.

Once operational, the 30-hectare Portland Energy Park will provide “critical support for existing and proposed renewable energy projects within Victoria’s Southwest Renewable Energy Zone”, a Pacific Green statement said. The Portland Energy Park is currently going through the regulatory approval process and is scheduled to be constructed in the first half of 2025.

By accelerating the shift to renewable energy usage in the evening peak, displacing more expensive gas generation, the Portland Energy Park will result in an estimated 3.8 per cent reduction in total wholesale energy costs for households in Victoria, the statement added. The discharging of energy from the park will also enable the avoidance of approximately 66,900 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

“No new infrastructure is required outside of the project boundaries, with impacts on local residents expected to be minimal both during both construction and once the park is operational,” the statement said.

Joel Alexander, Pacific Green managing director, Australia commented: “Our mission is to deliver critical storage infrastructure to support the grid network and enable the decarbonisation of the energy market. The Portland Energy Park will significantly reduce Victoria’s wholesale market volatility and in turn lower prices, during the transition towards net-zero.”

Pacific Green announced this week that it is targeting more than 12GWh of battery energy storage capacity across four global markets.

Having grown its pipeline to 6GWh in 2023, the company said in a statement that it was “taking scale positions in the emerging Italian and Australian energy storage markets, as well as moving its first project into operation at Richborough, UK”. The statement added that the company would be “doubling down on utility-scale battery energy storage systems as a priority focus for 2024 and beyond”.

The company said it would also be “taking its first steps” into the emerging Polish energy storage market.

Pacific Green is targeting a minimum of 1GWh capacity in each market it enters. Its targets for 2024 include:

UK – operation / development / origination

Recent strategic milestones have included commissioning the 99.8MWh Richborough Energy Park, achieving financial close at the neighbouring 373.5MWh Sheaf Energy Park, one of the first and largest non-recourse debt financed BESS sites in the world, and transferring ownership of both projects to energy transition fund Sosteneo. Priorities in 2024 include progressing construction of Sheaf Energy Park ahead of its July 2025 commissioning date and further expanding the UK origination portfolio.

Australia – development / origination

Having last year secured land exclusivity agreements for two major BESS projects in Southern Australia with 3GWh of storage capacity, Pacific Green aims to more than double its greenfield origination pipeline to more than 6GWh. Pacific Green’s Australian team is targeting financial close on its first 500MWh of storage capacity this year, ahead of the start of commercial operations in 2026.

Italy – development / origination

Having acquired a majority shareholding in five battery energy parks in Italy from originator Sphera Energy in 2023, totalling 2.8GWh capacity, Pacific Green’s team in Italy is targeting financial close on its first 1,500MWh of storage capacity this year, ahead of the start of commercial operations in 2026. The team also aims to further expand its origination portfolio to almost 5GWh in total.

Poland – origination

Pacific Green intends to enter the Polish market in 2024, targeting an initial origination pipeline of approximately 400MWh of storage capacity.

Scott Poulter, Pacific Green’s chief executive, said: “We’re focused on rolling out next-generation battery energy parks at scale and at speed – drawing on a unique combination of technology, project development and project finance expertise, alongside relationships cultivated with trusted partners throughout the BESS supply chain. Our work in 2023 demonstrated the speed and efficiency with which our team can bring forward vital new BESS assets and deliver significant value to our shareholders – and we intend to continue building the pace in 2024 and beyond.

“The role of battery storage in advancing the energy transition is no longer debatable – but to achieve the momentous growth that’s needed in operational capacity, the market needs to double down on its efforts to originate workable projects and commercialise and deploy the technology efficiently.  We’re laser focused on building the pipeline, the team and the international relationships needed to make a real difference in this sector.”