The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is preparing a tender for a 250MW battery energy storage project and seeks to create a shortlist of bidder with an open call for expressions of interest (EOI). The ACT encompasses Australia’s capital Canberra and the surrounding townships. This news was first reported by website Renew Economy and other local news platforms on December 23.
Sam Engele, the ACT’s coordinator-general for climate action, has sent a notice to the relevant stakeholders stating that the EOI process has started and will result in the identification of potential bidders. The 250MW project is currently known as “the Canberra Big Battery”.
In terms of layout, the Big Canberra Battery will actually comprise several battery energy storage facilities that are distributed across the capital area and have various levels of storage capacity. Engele said that the initial phase of the project tender will concentrate on energy storage facilities that are 10MW or greater and connected to the local grid system.
The ACT government already held a market sounding for the Big Canberra Battery. When the market sounding ended in May last year, 42 proposals had been submitted. This indicates that the project has drawn significant interest. As for the EOI, it will be open until this February 11. All interested parties must participate in this process, which pre-screens bidders for the two-stage tender that will be launched later this year.
Apart from the Big Canberra Battery, there is also another battery energy storage project being built in the capital region. Known as “the Capital Battery”, this 100MW/200MWh project is located next to the Queanbeyan substation at the eastern edge of the capital area. French independent power producer Neoen is responsible for the development of the Capital Battery, which will store electricity generated by the PV power plants and wind farms in the Goyder Renewables Zone. According to the reporting by various renewable energy news websites, the ACT has allocated a budget of AUD 100 million to fund the development of the Canberra Big Battery. The deployment of battery energy storage systems is expected to lower local residents’ electricity bills.
It is worth noting that the ACT has technically been 100% powered by renewables since 2020 as it procures electricity from PV power plants and wind farms from other states. The next aim of the ACT government is to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.