Origin Issues Notice to Proceed on 300 MW grid-forming battery at Mortlake

Mortlake in Victoria’s west is set to be bolstered with further grid supporting services through a new 300 MW / 650 MWh battery developed by Origin Energy (Origin), with Origin issuing Notice to Proceed to the EPC Contractor, Fluence, last week.

Initially announced in late 2022 on behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will provide up to $24 million in funding to the project, as part of the $176 million Large Scale Battery Storage Funding Round (Funding Round).

At a total cost of around $400 million, the battery, situated near the existing Mortlake Power Station, will provide grid forming and stability services to the region’s growing number of wind and solar farms, particularly in Victoria’s South West Renewable Energy Zone. Fluence has been appointed as the EPC contractor and will utilise grid forming inverters supplied by SMA.

The Funding Round allocated funding to eight grid scale battery projects across Australia. Each battery will be equipped with grid-forming inverter technology, allowing them to provide essential system stability services.

ARENA has been instrumental in some of Australia’s earliest large scale batteries, having previously provided $81 million to 8 battery projects prior to the Funding Round, including the 150 MW / 300 MWh Riverina Battery at Darlington Point and the 150 MW / 194 MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, which are currently the largest operation grid-forming batteries in Australia.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the project highlights the growing importance of grid forming capabilities for the energy grid.

“As traditional forms of energy generation are phased out, new clean technologies are required to take their place. Large scale batteries can play a significant role in providing system stability services, particularly when fitted with advanced grid forming inverters.”

“ARENA’s funding has been integral to creating smarter batteries with this technology. This is the fifth project to have been committed under the Funding Round, with three more to go across Australia.”

“The decision to proceed by Origin further highlights the increased confidence in grid-forming inverter technology and the strong market incentives driving investment in battery storage.”

The battery is expected to be commissioned in late 2026.

Five of the eight projects that were successful in the Funding Round have been financially committed. These include:

Entity: Neoen

Project: Western Downs BESS

Size (MW / MWh): 255 / 510

Inverter OEM: Tesla

Entity: Neoen

Project: Blyth BESS

Size (MW / MWh): 200 / 400

Inverter OEM: Power Electronics

Entity: Neoen

Project: VBB BESS (retrofit of grid-forming capability)

Size (MW / MWh): 300 / 450

Inverter OEM: Tesla

Entity: AGL

Project: Liddell BESS

Size (MW / MWh): 500 / 1,000

Inverter OEM: Power Electronics

Entity: Origin

Project: Mortlake BESS

Size (MW / MWh): 300 / 650

Inverter OEM: SMA

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