High Voltage: Lithium-ion megabatteries will be built faster (and bigger) than anyone expected
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Our High Voltage column wraps all the news driving ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, rare earths, and vanadium.
Pure scale means that electric vehicles will dominate future demand for battery metals like cobalt, lithium, graphite, nickel and rare earths.
But large scale stationary storage is also surging as costs fall.
Stationary storage systems are big batteries often designed to store excess power from the power grid — including from renewable sources — for use during expensive peak demand periods.
Hornsdale in South Australia, also known as ‘Tesla’s Big Battery’, was a global trailblazer.
It was misunderstood early on.
In 2017, ScoMo reckoned it would become a “big banana”.
Matt Canavan called it “the Kim Kardashian of the energy world: it’s famous for being famous. It really doesn’t do very much.”
They were both very wrong. The positive impacts of the battery’s services were quickly recognised.
These mega battery developments are now being built faster than anyone expected as costs continue to fall.
The world’s largest grid-scale solar battery – about eight times the size of Hornsdale – is about to be built in the NSW Hunter Valley.
The 1200 megawatt project is being developed by specialist renewable energy fund CEP Energy, which is sourcing its power from factory and warehouse rooftops around the country.
The battery would be the largest of four planned utility-scale batteries CEP Energy is planning throughout Australia.
All up, this planned portfolio would have capacity of 2GW. In 2016, BNEF expected 25GW of installed global storage total by 2028.
Former NSW premier Morris Iemma is now the chairman of CEP Energy. He said integrated grid-scale battery networks are accelerating Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.
“Big batteries, including the one planned by CEP Energy for the Hunter, will play a major role in filling the gaps left by the gradual retirement of coal and gas-fired generation assets, including the nearby Liddell Power Station,” Iemma said.
It may have the biggest aspirations, but CEP isn’t the only mega battery builder in Australia.
Origin Energy plans to build a 700MW battery – four times bigger that the South Australian version — in the Hunter region.
Fellow power provider AGL is rolling out 850MW of energy storage across the National Energy Market by 2024.
And French renewables giant Neoen – which partnered with Tesla on the Hornsdale Energy Reserve in South Australia – is building a new 500MW ‘Great Western Battery’ in NSW.
Here’s how a basket of ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, rare earths, and vanadium are performing>>>
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