Supporting the energy transition through investments in Battery Energy Storage

Last week Shell Energy announced its first grid-scale battery project in Victoria and fourth in Australia.

Located in the suburb of Cranbourne West, the Rangebank Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) will provide 200MW/400MWh of battery storage capacity including grid support.

As a Victorian, I’m proud to see Shell Energy developing assets that will directly support more renewables in the energy system that will be part of transitioning Melbourne to a lower emissions energy future.

This BESS will charge during the day and support the growing fleet of renewable assets in Victoria, stabilising the State’s electricity supply by enabling stored energy to be discharged at times of peak demand.

Our equity investment in the Rangebank BESS represents Shell’s first utility-scale BESS ownership globally. As the 100% offtaker for the Rangebank BESS, Shell Energy has access to dispatchable power from the asset, supporting renewables and contributing to a more resilient power system in Victoria.

Over the past 18 months we have been developing Shell Energy’s BESS portfolio as part of our commitment to invest in firming capacity to support and accelerate the energy transition in Australia. Our BESS portfolio complements investments in renewables and helps contribute to a more stable, reliable grid.

Why the focus on BESS?

Batteries are another form of energy storage which help firm renewable generation. Intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar need energy storage technologies like grid-scale batteries to store and dispatch power to support the grid when renewable assets aren’t generating enough electricity. Batteries can store energy from renewable sources, from the times in the day when there is surplus supply and not as much demand, then release that energy when it is required by consumers – such as in the evenings or windless day – to provide greater availability of renewable power.
The energy landscape in Australia is transforming. Grid-scale solar and wind developments are set to increase nine-fold from current levels by 2050, and household solar PV by a factor of five (AEMO ISP 2022). Alongside our firming portfolio, Shell Energy is also investing in renewable generation including:

  • a 50% stake in Kondinin Energy Pty Ltd on a wind, solar and Battery Energy Storage System development with Foresight Group;
  • a 49% investment in Australian wind farm developer, WestWind;
  • the 120MW Gangarri Solar Project located in Queensland’s Western Downs region.

Grid-scale batteries will play a crucial storage role in Australia’s energy future.

Utilising lithium technology, this type of battery energy storage system has a high energy density and can be charged many times for thousands of cycles. Grid-scale batteries have a very fast response time, are relatively quick to build and enable short-term dispatch of energy.

We are proud to work with a number of partners to ensure we have the flexibility to support the unique requirements of each of our grid-scale battery investments. Collaboration is key to a successful energy transition for Australia, and we value the relationships we are building with battery partners such as Edify on the 60MW Riverina Energy Storage System 1, AMPYR Australia on the 500MW Wellington BESS development, the 500MW Wallerawang 9 BESS with Greenspot, and Macquarie Green Investment Group on the Rangebank BESS.

Battery technology is an essential element in the decarbonisation of the energy sector, providing firming for solar and wind, and vital grid stability services. The need for energy storage and grid support services will continue to grow as companies around the world deliver on their net-zero objectives. You can learn more about our battery developments here.

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