Located near Canberra, the 10 MW facility has a storage capacity of 20 MWh, which will enable flexible integration of renewable energies into the grid and supply to be boosted at times when less electricity is being generated.
Naturgy also recently announced the construction of its first solar and storage hybrid project anywhere in the world, also in Australia, which will enter commercial operation in early 2024. The company has thus confirmed its commitment to this region, where it aims to reach an installed capacity of 2.2 GW between now and 2025 with an investment of almost two billion euros focused on the development of wind farms, photovoltaic power plants and storage systems.
On Wednesday, the Spanish Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, officially opened the first battery storage facility to be operated by the Naturgy power company anywhere in the world. During her visit, the minister was told about the cutting-edge technology used at this facility alongside Francisco Bustío, the Managing Director of Global Power Generation (GPG) – the international power generation subsidiary of Naturgy, and other members of the GPG team in the country.
Reyes Maroto believes that “this latest investment by the Naturgy Group in Australia demonstrates the potential that Spanish companies have around the globe and their capacity to develop projects that lead the way in sectors like energy and renewable energies, in which Spain has companies that lead the world. Besides Naturgy, many other Spanish companies that do business in the Australian market are benchmarks in their fields, like infrastructures or the shipbuilding industry. With this visit, I wish to express my support for Spanish companies operating in Australia, such as Naturgy, and to encourage future investments in this important market”.
In turn, Francisco Bustío said that the launch of this first storage system owned by the power company in Australia “is a major step towards strengthening our international presence and our contribution to the energy transition. We are very pleased that the Government of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has trusted us to develop this significant project and we hope to be able to continue working together closely from here on”. The Managing Director of GPG explained that this type of system enables renewable energy to be stored and later supplied when necessary at times of lower production, as it brings flexibility to renewable energy production and guarantees its integration into the system.
The opening ceremony and visit to the plant was also attended by the Spanish Ambassador to Australia, Alicia Moral Revilla; the Director-General for International Trade and Investments, Alicia Rocío Varela; the Head of the Economic and Trade Office, Ana Raquel García Rubio; and the Director of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and Trade, Inmaculada Riera i Reñé, among others.
Queanbeyan Battery Centre
The Queanbeyan Battery Centre is the first storage facility that Naturgy will put into operation anywhere in the world. It is located in the Australian Capital Territory, close to the city of Canberra, and will perform a strategic role in support of the local distribution network.
Based on a 10 MW system of Lithium-Ion batteries and a storage capacity of 20 MWh, the Queanbeyan centre will be able to accumulate electricity from renewable sources and output it to the grid whenever it is needed at times when less electricity is being generated.
In this way, the facility will not only strengthen supply but will also contribute to promoting the energy transition in Australia, guaranteeing the presence of clean energy in the network in a continuous and stable manner. The project is tied to the construction of the Berrybank II wind farm, which the group will begin to operate in the coming months.
Firm commitment to Australia
Australia is a priority country for Naturgy within its strategic targets for the years ahead. The group aims to reach an installed capacity of 2.2 GW between now and 2025 with an investment of almost two billion euros focused on the development of wind technology, photovoltaic technology and storage systems such Queanbeyan.
The group currently operates the Crookwell II and Berrybank I wind farms, and is concluding efforts to start operating Berrybank II. Furthermore, Naturgy is working on a solid 1.2 GW portfolio of projects under construction and development that are concentrated in the regions of Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.
Naturgy first began doing business in Australia in 2007 and has always aimed to build a solid renewable portfolio capable of providing clean sources of energy and contributing to the development of rural and regional communities. The company operates in the country via its subsidiary GPG, which was set up in 2014 and in which the group holds a 75% majority stake alongside Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) which holds the remaining 25%, and manages a total installed capacity of over 4,000 MW, employing some 500 people worldwide
A fine example of this commitment to the country is the investment to be made by the company to build its first solar hybrid project worldwide in Australia, combining photovoltaic and storage battery technologies. The recently announced Cunderdin Project will boast cutting-edge technology as the first solar hybrid facility to be developed in the country, with an investment of 160 million euros.
The plant will have a solar photovoltaic capacity of 125 MW and a battery-based power storage system of up to 220 MWh. The company has acquired the project from Sun Bred Power (SBP) and will begin construction in the last quarter of this year in order to enter commercial operation during the first quarter of 2024. The integration of a battery-based power storage system with a large-scale photovoltaic power plant will enable the project to offer greater operational flexibility, which in turn will facilitate its ability to support the Australian wholesale energy market (SWIS) during periods of maximum energy demand in the country.
Promotion of renewable energies
Naturgy is working to strengthen its role in the energy transition and decarbonisation process via an ambitious goal to achieve emissions neutrality by 2050 and an installed power capacity from renewable resources of close on 60%.
The company intends to invest 14 billion euros over the course of its current roadmap to 2025, of which approximately two-thirds will be allocated to the promotion of renewable power generation in order to raise the currently operational 5.2 GW to the over 14 GW expected to be operational by the end of 2025.
Investments in renewable energies over the last few years confirm the company’s strategic shift towards a more sustainable energy mix and its commitment to the energy transition. All of this comes while maintaining the fundamental objectives of value creation and growth for each one of its businesses, as well as the ESG objectives.