Victoria will be home to the largest battery in the southern hemisphere as part of a State Government push to transition to renewable energy.
Renewable energy company Neoen will pay for the 300 megawatt Tesla battery to be installed at Moorabool, near Geelong.
The new battery will be twice the size of the battery at the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia.
State Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the battery would improve energy reliability in summer and drive down electricity prices.
“We know in the time of climate change, our summers are getting far hotter and much longer, so that means there is increased strain on our thermal generators,” she said.
“This is part of our plan to deliver security, reliability and affordable power.”
The state has signed an $84 million contract with Neoen for the project.
But Ms D’Ambrosio was not able to say how much Victorians would save on their power bills once the project was built.
“Our independent analysis shows for every dollar that is invested, it will present two dollars for every Victorian in terms of value,” she said.
AusNet Services executive general manager of regulation and external affairs, Alistair Parker, said the battery would be able to power about 300,000 homes.
“Its critical role though, will be enabling extra interconnector capacity,” he said.
“If we have a fault in the network it can very quickly give us 250 megawatts and nobody will see the inconvenience in the network.”
Environment Victoria CEO Jono La Nauze said the battery was a game-changer for Victoria’s transition to clean energy.
“This big battery gets us halfway to the storage target we need to prepare for the closure of Yallourn Power Station,” he said.
The project is also part of a Government plan to support jobs as the state begins to recover from the pandemic, with more than 85 jobs expected to be created in the construction of the battery.
The battery, which will be built near the Moorabool Terminal Station, is expected to be ready by November 2021.
South Australia’s giant battery has been credited with keeping the lights on, but also driving down power bills.
A review by consultancy firm Aurecon found the Tesla battery had saved SA consumers more than $150 million since it was built in 2017.