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ACEN set to expand battery system in Australia

ACEN Corp. has secured approval from the government of New South Wales to increase the capacity of its battery energy storage system in Australia.

In a statement on Sunday, the Ayala-led energy company said the facility’s capacity will be increased to 2,800 megawatt-hours (MW) or 1,400 MW per two hours from the initial 200 MW per two hours.

“The New England Solar battery storage can charge using excess power generated from solar and wind, and discharge that energy when required,” Anton Rohner, chief executive officer of ACEN Australia, said.

The higher storage capacity will allow the project to increase its energy potential, which can generate power to supply about 175,000 households.

Mr. Rohner said the additional storage will help provide “reliable, cheaper and greener” energy generation for New South Wales.

“We look forward to continuing to work together to decarbonize New South Wales and Australia at large,” said Patrice R. Clausse, chief operating officer for ACEN International, as he thanked the foreign government “for their continuing support for our projects.”

ACEN’s 720-MW-alternating current (MWac) New England battery storage is being constructed in two phases. The first stage, which involves a 400-MWac or 521-megawatt direct current (MWdc), was opened in March this year.

ACEN said because of the approval of the proposed expansion, planning for the project’s second phase has stepped closer to construction.

“The modification also includes some changes to Stage 2 of the solar project area, helping to optimize the project, and move it another step towards construction,” ACEN said.

The approval of the proposed additional storage capacity comes after the company’s Australian unit secured a 20-year long-term energy service agreement for the New England solar project.

ACEN said the nod was part of the New South Wales government’s first renewable energy and storage auction, which it said offers an option “to access a minimum price for generation projects.”

The company has more than 1 gigawatt (GW) capacity in construction and at least 8 GW capacity being developed in Australia.

Across Australia, its renewable energy projects include solar, wind, pumped hydro, and energy storage. Its first operational project will be the New England solar facility, which it started building in 2021.

“ACEN Australia has also made significant financial commitments to support community initiatives, regional manufacturing and employment, and Indigenous participation in its projects,” the company said.

In all, it aims to install 20 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. It currently has about 4,200 MW of attributable capacity from its facilities in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Australia.

ACEN has said that it is committed to transitioning its power generation portfolio to fully renewable energy by 2025 and to becoming a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions company by 2050. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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