GMR Energy is now moving forward with a 1.3 GW portfolio of storage projects across eastern Australia, albeit on a delayed timeline. Its standalone 240 MW/480 MWh Mornington Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), south of Melbourne, follows the company’s pivot from solar to storage around 2021.
The Mornington project has secured development and connection approvals, and GMR Energy CEO Morris Zhou says its partner, Victorian network AusNet, has begun early works and is procuring long-lead items. To this end, Zhou noted that supply chain disruptions have led to a “significant bottleneck in the availability of transformers and other materials required.”
AusNet will build the transmission infrastructure required for the Mornington project, which sits adjacent to AusNet’s existing Tyabb substation. GMR Energy says it is also in “final negotiations” with the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor to build the Mornington battery, although it is not clear which company has won the contact.
The Mornington project will rely on energy arbitrage and supplying frequency and grid control services to generate revenue.
GMR Energy has another five projects in its pipeline, including the 225 MW/450 MWh Gould Creek BESS in South Australia, which also has been given development application approval. Alongside this, the company has lodged development applications for three battery projects in New South Wales, including a 150 MW project in Armidale, a 200 MW project in Tamworth, and a 100 MW project in Lismore – all of which will have two hours of storage duration.
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All of these projects will miss their original completion dates, which the company had scheduled for either this year or last. It is worth noting that the company did seem rather ambitious in its initial timelines, frequently forecasting just a year between public announcements and completion.
In May 2022, the company publicly announced its biggest project to date, the AUD 1.6 billion ($1.06 billion) Merriwa Energy Hub, which includes a 550 MW solar farm and a 400 MW/1,600 MWh battery energy storage system in the Hunter region of New South Wales.
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