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Adelaide company unveils plans for another big battery

A South Australia-based energy company will build the state’s second-largest energy storage project 60km north of Adelaide to boost electricity supply reliability.

Mar 19, 2024, updated Mar 19, 2024
An illustration of ZEN Energy's proposed energy storage project at Templers. Photo: Supplied.

An illustration of ZEN Energy's proposed energy storage project at Templers. Photo: Supplied.

ZEN Energy today announced its battery storage project at Templers, 14.5km north of Gawler.

The 111-Megawatt battery will be operational in 2025 according to ZEN, which was founded in 2004 by Richard Turner who stepped away from managing the business in 2019.

The company hopes the project will boost the reliability of electricity supply as South Australia moves towards being 100 per cent powered by renewable energy by 2027.

It will be ZEN’s first battery project, with the company previously building renewable energy infrastructure with solar and wind farms.

The energy storage project will be owned entirely by ZEN, which will enter into a 100 per cent tolling offtake agreement with companies that supply the battery with energy.

ZEN expects 180 local jobs to be created during construction. The firm said the project was “enabled through the South Australian Government’s commitment to a long-term energy contract with the company”.

Investment partners on the project include alternative investment firm Stonepeak and French bank Natixis.

Superannuation fund Future Super also invested $30 million in ZEN’s corporate note with the capital “integral to projects like the Templers battery and enable ZEN to retain 100 per cent ownership of the asset”.

ElectraNet – the owner of South Australia’s high voltage transmission network – will build and maintain a dedicated connection to the battery according to ZEN.

CEO Anthony Garnaut said reaching the final investment decision for the Templers battery was “a key milestone in ZEN’s significant growth path and marks our first 100 per cent owned major asset, in the state where we started”.

“The South Australian Government, through committing to a long-term contract with a renewable retailer has enabled this significant investment in further stabilising the supply of renewable, affordable energy into South Australia,” Garnaut said.

“Commitment and support from our capital partners including Stonepeak, Peak Energy, Natixis Bank, Future Super and other leading institutions including Longreach, IAM and Azure Capital enable ZEN to continue to bring more renewable assets to the grid in South Australia.”

Energy and Mining Minister Tom Koutsantonis welcomed the news.

“South Australia led the pack when we invested in the Hornsdale Power Reserve, and our state is now home to six grid-connected batteries with a total capacity of more than 500MW,” he said.

“These investments are a big vote of confidence in our state’s ambitious plan to get to net zero emissions in energy production by 2027, and to help the world along the pathway to decarbonisation.

“Like South Australia, ZEN was an early mover in the renewable energy space. It’s great to see a home-grown success story joining us in the journey to a decarbonised economy.”

ZEN’s battery will be smaller than AGL Energy’s Torrens Island power station energy storage system, which was unveiled in August last year and covers an area the size of Adelaide Oval.

AGL’s system can provide enough electricity to power 75,000 homes for one hour, with the option to extend the duration to four hours with a future expansion.

In June 2023, a $22 million vanadium flow battery and co-located solar farm was unveiled at Port Pirie by Yadlamalka Energy.

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