Top firms help ink deal for giant battery in Queensland

Deal may serve as a model to support growing investment in battery storage, one lead partner says

Top firms help ink deal for giant battery in Queensland

Two leading law firms have advised on a new deal for a giant battery in Queensland.

Ashurst advised Vena Energy Australia (VEA), which has agreed to the development of a new grid-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) near Wandoan in Queensland with AGL, which was counselled by Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF).

VEA agreed to sell the storage capacity of the 100MW BESS at its Wandoan South Project (WSP), which is the company’s largest development, with approved capacity of up to 1,000MW of solar generation and 450MW of battery storage, Ashurst said.

HSF said that the 15-year contract will allow AGL to use the storage and grid-support capabilities of the BESS under an availability arrangement. This particular BESS, which is expected to become operational in the second half of 2021, will be able to power up to 57,000 homes. Ashurst said that the capacity goes towards the future WSP’s expected capacity to supply the yearly power needs up to 400,000 Queensland homes.

“The Wandoan BESS  will  represent  a  major  milestone  in  the  continuing modernisation of the state’s energy supply, which will hopefully encourage investment in future energy projects that have the same positive impact,” Ashurst partner Dan Brown said.

Brown headed the Ashurst team, which also included senior associates Tristan Shepherd and Lixian Liang.

“This transaction marks another milestone in the electricity market’s transition towards ‘firmed’ reliable generation from renewable and low-emissions sources,” HSF partner Peter Davis said. “This deal may serve as a model to support growing investment in battery storage and other forms of dispatchable generation.”

Davis led the HSF team, which also included solicitor Michael Trent. HSF said that the firm continues to advise AGL on its battery transactions.

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