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Energy Vault working on 500MWh battery project for Australian solar power plant


The battery storage division at gravity energy storage company Energy Vault has been contracted to work on a 250MW two-hour duration project at a solar PV plant in Victoria, Australia.

Energy Vault said that it has been given Notice to Proceed from Meadow Creek Solar, the developer of a 330MW solar farm of the same name, a location in rural Victoria about 270km from state capital Melbourne.

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The company made the announcement yesterday as the first day of the All-Energy Australia trade expo took place. While it said the 250MW/500MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) will provide “resiliency and flexibility of charge and discharge” for the co-located solar power plant, details on the battery system’s expected applications and routes to market have not yet been provided.

The project appears to be at a fairly early stage of development, although Meadow Creek has completed what Energy Vault described as “extensive work” to determine feasibility. It said it has found sufficient grid capacity is available and is now undergoing environmental and technical assessments. These will support development applications to local authorities.

Energy Vault will now begin its own grid studies and modelling for the project, working with DNV as its technical advisor, aiming to meet the requirements of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Energy Vault APAC region VP of sales and business development Lucas Sadler said that the company has recently launched “bespoke AC and DC block energy storage solutions” into the Australian market which will be a good fit for the project.

“The solutions approach Energy Vault conducted with our team has been pivotal in our decision to select the Energy Vault energy storage hardware and software platform,” Meadow Creek Solar Farm development manager Cameron Munro said.

“Energy Vault’s high energy density design, the option to work with both Central Storage Inverters or the new AC Block and the most advanced Energy Management Software, that enables multiple use cases, optimal economic dispatching and predictive maintenance, bring flexibility and further options when working with our financial and technical partners, DNV and AusNet Services.”

The startup is better known for its championing of a form of mechanical energy storage technology which lifts massive composite blocks weighing dozens of tonnes to charge and then lowers them to discharge.

However, since establishing an energy storage solutions division focusing on software and energy management systems (EMS) and latterly on battery storage project work, it has won a number of fairly large project contracts, mainly in the US.

Meanwhile, it has built just one working large-scale prototype of its gravity-based storage system, with the technology having since undergone a major design overhaul.

The company has claimed however that a 100MW gravity storage project in China has already broken ground a couple of months ago and more recently said that it has received a 2GWh “mandate” to deliver gravity storage systems in the country.

The company has also signed an agreement with Ark Energy, a subsidiary of Korea Zinc, to work on gravity energy storage systems in Australia which it claimed is on a multi-GWh basis. Korea Zinc is among investors in Energy Vault, having committed US$50 million shortly before the startup listed on the New York Stock Exchange towards the beginning of this year.

As to Meadow Creek, the developer does not appear to have a dedicated website, but a webpage for the project itself has been set up, describing the project as being developed by a “local landholder,” with support from DNV and from AusNet Services, an energy delivery services company owned by Brookfield Asset Management. has reached out to Energy Vault for more information on Meadow Creek Solar, as well as for information on the applications the BESS at the solar farm will perform.

Energy Vault publicly listed in February after a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger and in August offered guidance for US$680 million combined revenues in the 2022-2023 timeframe. In Q1 2022 it reported US$43 million revenue and in Q2 just US$1 million.

This article has been amended from its originally published form to reflect that there is online information available on the Meadow Creek Solar Farm website, which you can see here.

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