Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, Shell to develop 400MWh BESS in Melbourne


Green Investment Group (GIG) and Shell Energy have announced a 200MW/400MWh battery storage project in Victoria, Australia.

GIG, which is owned by Macquarie Asset Management, and Shell Energy, the integrated energy services subsidiary of the fossil fuel major, will co-develop the project at Rangebank Business Park in the city of Cranbourne, southeast Melbourne.

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Financial close has already been reached, clearing the partners to begin execution of the project, for an expected commissioning date in late 2024.

The battery energy storage system (BESS) equipment will be supplied by Fluence, using the company’s sixth generation Gridstack modular BESS solution. Fluence will build, service and maintain the asset.

The region of Melbourne – where the project is being developed – is experiencing a fast growth in population, with a corresponding increase in demand for electricity and the BESS will help to stabilise electricity supply in the state of Victoria “by providing additional storage capacity which can be discharged at times of peak demand,” Shell Energy Australia CEO, Greg Joiner, said.

Shell Energy has signed an offtake deal with a 20-year term for 100% of dispatch rights to the BESS. CEO Joiner noted that the Rangebank BESS project marks the company’s first direct equity investment into a BESS project anywhere in the world, as well as being its first investment in a project of this type in Victoria.

Shell Energy’s activities in Australia include supplying electricity to commercial and industrial (C&I) customers as well as project engineering and other services. Its website lists numerous applications in the business case for battery storage, including frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) markets, demand response, reliability and energy reserve trading, arbitrage and a suite of behind-the-meter services like solar load shaping and demand charge management.

Meanwhile, equity investment from Green Investment Group in the project will transfer to Eku Energy, the battery energy storage platform the company set up last year. At the time of its launch, GIG said Eku Energy would develop, build and manage assets across a wide range of markets, revenue sources and market structures.

As reported by last November, the platform kicked off by continuing two GIG portfolio projects: a 40MW/40MWh project in England and a 150MW/150MWh project at a former coal power plant site in Victoria, the latter co-funded privately by GIG and Engie, with Fluence the technology provider in that instance too.

Other BESS projects for Shell Energy in Australia include two 500MW/1,000MWh facilities in development in New South Wales, one co-developed with AMPYR Energy in Wellington, Central West NSW, the other at another former coal power plant site near the town of Lithgow, with Shell holding full development rights. The company also has a 100MW/200MWh offtake deal and partnership signed in 2021 with utility Edify Energy from a 300MWh portfolio of projects, also in New South Wales.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 1st Energy Storage Summit Asia, 11-12 July 2023 in Singapore. The event will help give clarity on this nascent, yet quickly growing market, bringing together a community of credible independent generators, policymakers, banks, funds, off-takers and technology providers. For more information, go to the website.

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