US giant BlackRock invests $1 billion in Australian battery project

US investment giant BlackRock will invest $1 billion (US$701 million) in Australian battery projects after agreeing to acquire Melbourne-based Akaysha Energy.

Akaysha currently has nine projects across the country, the most advanced of which is the 300-megawatt Ulinda battery in Queensland’s Western Downs region.

Its largest project is the 1,600-megawatt Orana battery in Wellington, Midwest New South Wales, which can provide around eight hours of energy storage. The company also has another large-scale project in Palmerston, Tasmania.

There are currently 10 large batteries connected to Australia’s energy grid.

Charlie Reid, co-head of climate infrastructure at BlackRock Asia-Pacific, said there is a US$400 billion opportunity across the region.

“We see tremendous long-term growth potential in developing advanced battery storage assets in Australia and other Asia-Pacific markets for our clients, and we are working with Akaisha to develop a clean, We look forward to ensuring an orderly transition to a secure energy future,” said the statement.

Akaysha Managing Director Nick Carter said the Asia-Pacific region is at the “dawn of the energy transition.”

“Asia-Pacific is at the dawn of an energy transition from carbon-emitting fossil fuels to intermittent renewable sources, and the successful transition to a more sustainable energy future will depend on the use of large-scale battery storage. We believe it is at stake,” he said in a statement.

Pushing Australia down the net-zero path

BlackRock says the initiative will contribute to the Labor government’s goal of 82% of its energy grid being powered by renewable energy. Coal-fired power is currently the largest contributor to the energy grid, accounting for about 64%.

Since being elected, the Labor government has pushed for the country to adopt more ambitious climate change policies.

Just a few weeks ago, Congress successfully enacted new emissions reduction targets of 43% by 2030, up from the previous 26-28% target. The Labor Party needed the support of the left-wing Australian Greens to pass the Senate after a center-right coalition refused to endorse the bill.

Energy Minister Chris Bowen has also identified several potential sites for offshore wind turbines.

Daniel Y. Teng


Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. His focus is on national politics such as federal politics, the COVID-19 response and Australia-China relations. Any tips? Please contact [email protected]