Having secured development and connection approvals for the project, GMR Energy has entered into an early works agreement with transmission network service provider, AusNet, to build the transmission infrastructure to connect the standalone 240MWp / 480MWh Mornington BESS facility to the grid with completion targeted by the end of 2024.
The company is also in final negotiations with the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor to build out the AU$330million battery project which will be funded with debt and equity.
GMR Energy's CEO and Managing Director, Morris Zhou, said the early works agreement was a key milestone on the path to deliver critical energy infrastructure that would support the Victorian Government's objective of improving the reliability of regional electricity in an area that is particularly exposed to fluctuations in demand.
"The addition of the Mornington BESS, located adjacent to AusNet's existing Tyabb substation, will also help ensure a successful transition to renewables, as it will draw and store energy from the grid during off-peak periods and dispatch energy to the grid during peak periods, generating power for the equivalent of 40,000 average Australian homes," Zhou said.
"With the current supply chain issues meaning a significant bottleneck in the availability of transformers and other materials required, we have partnered with AusNet to commence early works and procure long-lead items."
AusNet's Chief Development Officer, Jon D'Sylva, said the company was pleased to partner with GMR Energy to support the on-time delivery of this important piece of clean energy infrastructure.
"Mornington BESS is an exciting renewable energy project that will help provide additional energy security to the Victorian region," D'Sylva said.
"Already, our team has commenced applying our transmission and asset management expertise to undertake the procurement of critical electrical equipment, conduct geotechnical investigations, and develop detailed design."
Commitment to commence with the AusNet early works program is supported by GMR Energy major shareholder, Gaw Capital Partners, which completed an investment in 2022 to acquire control and fully fund the development of its 1.3GW portfolio of six battery projects.
Zhou said that in addition to the Mornington BESS project, GMR Energy has a further four projects in its pipeline, including another with DA approval, Gould Creek in South Australia and three in NSW that have had DA's lodged.
"We are committed to building out these utility scale batteries on sites we have spent years to identify and develop, and to play our part in supporting Australia's transition to renewables," Zhou said.
PHOTO:Morris Zhou (GMR) and Jon D'Sylva (AusNet) with Richard Pawlik, Brittany Pistevos, Darren Curtis (AusNet), Michael Tran (GMR).jpg