Hall & Wilcox advises AusNet on Victoria’s $35 million Big Battery project

Leading independent business law firm, Hall & Wilcox, has advised the owner and operator of Victoria’s electricity transmission network, AusNet Services, on its leading role in Victoria’s $35 million Battery Energy Storage System to be based in Ballarat (regional Victoria).

The project involves the construction of Victoria’s first utilities scale Lithium-Ion battery, which will store solar and wind-generated energy and release power into the grid to spread the load during peak times. The battery will be located in Ballarat, and is set to provide 30 megawatts of energy, and have a storage capacity of 30 megawatt hours. Construction of the battery is due to commence in April 2018.

AusNet Services was part of a consortium which has signed a contract with the Victorian Government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to design, construct and operate the batteries. Other members of the consortium include Spotless, Energy Australia and Fluence.

Paul O’Donnell was lead partner for Hall & Wilcox on the project and said understanding the complexities of the new energy market presented unique challenges. “This is an emerging technology and a first for Victoria, which makes it both exciting and challenging as there is very little precedent.

“This battery technology is not anticipated in the current energy regulatory environment, which meant there were many issues to consider for the project.”

Paul was supported by Projects Partner Mark Dessi, Special Counsel Mark Richards and Paralegal Lorraine Ng. The AusNet in-house team was lead by Evan Holland Lead Counsel – Commercial Energy Services.

Paul commented that the team had to “combine their knowledge of new technologies with the complex energy environment to identify key issues and deliver a strong result for Ausnet.”