Largest Battery System in Asia Approved for Melbourne

The Melbourne Renewable Energy Hub will build the largest battery system in Asia—one of the largest in the world.
Largest Battery System in Asia Approved for Melbourne
A wind turbine generates electricity at the Block Island Wind Farm—the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States—near Block Island, R.I., on July 7, 2022. (John Moore/Getty Images)

The Australian Labor Government has approved a new renewable energy hub in Plumpton, northwest of Melbourne, Victoria, to supply power to over 1 million households.

Once completed, the hub will be one of the world’s largest, with a 2.4 GWh battery to store power from wind, hydro, and solar energy from regional Victoria, as well as from residential solar systems.

Besides clean energy, the hub is slated to create nearly 400 jobs for its construction and management.

Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said cheaper and cleaner renewable energy will help cut emissions and reach net zero by 2050.

“We know renewable energy is cheaper, cleaner, and crucial to helping us cut emissions and reach our goal of net zero by 2050. Projects like this will help us transform our energy system and build it for the future, she said in a statement.

“We’re undoing a decade of political fights that stalled progress and cost the environment. This is what action on climate change looks like – cutting emissions, investing in renewables, and better protecting our environment,” Ms. Plibersek added.
After evaluation, the scheme was approved by the federal government with conditions around environmental protection.

Victoria Pushing Ahead with Renewables

Victoria has been formally admitted to the Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA) as the first sub-national government to join the grouping. The state has the second-largest offshore wind pipeline in the Asia-Pacific region.

Last year, the federal government declared an area in the Bass Strait off the Gippsland coast in Victoria as Australia’s first offshore wind zone and is now exploring feasibility licenses for potential developers. Successful applicants are expected to be announced later this year.

This offshore wind industry is expected to create over 6,000 jobs in Victoria and play a crucial part in achieving 95 percent renewable energy production by 2035 and attaining net-zero emissions by 2045.

The Royalla Solar Farm is seen in Canberra, Australia, on June 28, 2016. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
The Royalla Solar Farm is seen in Canberra, Australia, on June 28, 2016. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

The Victorian budget 2023/24 has allocated $27 million (US$17.3 million) to progress the development of the Victorian Renewable Energy Terminal at the Port of Hastings.

The terminal will support wind projects to deliver up to 1 GW (gigawatts) per year of energy, and service multiple offshore wind developments simultaneously.

Meanwhile, the Victorian Labor government has launched an Australian-first solar program that will deliver bulk solar panels, heat pumps, and hot water systems to new homes, saving thousands of dollars for home buyers with new rebates, around $4,600 before they even move in.

Other initiatives to help achieve these targets include banning gas connections to new homes from 2024 and creating 2 GW from the offshore wind capacity by 2032, 4 GW by 2035, and 9 GW by 2040, attracting investment from Australia and across the globe.