Wednesday 4th of October 2023
Octopus Australia, the specialist renewable energy developer and fund manager, has acquired a significant Queensland battery development project. Octopus purchased the proposed 1GWh Blackstone battery project from leading BESS developer Firm Power. The acquisition adds 1 gigawatt-hour of storage to Octopus’ multi-technology renewable energy development portfolio.
The Blackstone project is strategically located only 30km from Brisbane and connects into the 275kV high voltage transmission network. Additionally, the project will complement Octopus Australia’s recent acquisitions in Queensland, including the 220MWh Ardandra Solar and BESS, and the 180MW Dulacca Wind Farm which is progressing through pre-commissioning. Octopus is now working with Powerlink, Ipswich City Council and Firm Power to complete development and expects to reach a final investment decision in the second half of 2025.
With a combination of wind, solar and storage in Queensland, Octopus Australia intends to offer market-leading Power Purchase Agreements providing firmed blocks of energy. The new storage capacity will allow Octopus to shift generation between its operational assets, all of which are 100% owned by the fund manager.
Once constructed, Blackstone will store and dispatch 1 gigawatt-hour of stored electricity during times of peak demand or non-generation, offering the ability to power up to 70,000 homes for one day. The project will make a significant contribution to the Queensland Government’s commitment to achieving 80% renewable energy by 2035 and reduce intermittency.
The Queensland Government has also identified battery storage as a critical part of its future energy plan, commenting that “Battery storage is emerging and critical element of sustainable electricity supply, and an important component of QLD’s ‘SuperGrid’ of clean energy infrastructure, driving the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan: Power for generations (Energy Plan)” – Source Department of Energy and Public Works, 2022).
Sonia Teitel, Co – Head of Investment and Development at Octopus Australia, commented:
“The acquisition of Project Blackstone is a landmark transaction for Octopus Australia which advances our portfolio strategy. Once developed the project will enable innovative offtake products to be structured. Additionally, the acquisition underlines our commitment to the growing Queensland energy market. Octopus looks forward to working with our partners at Firm Power to complete development over the next two years.
Nick Rose, General Manager at Firm Power, commented:
”As the largest battery proposed in Queensland, the Blackstone Project is well located to provide system strength and reliability to the electricity network in the high-load, high-growth corridor of South-East Queensland. The Firm Power team is excited to work with a conviction investor such as Octopus Australia, who understands the importance of founding a renewables platform on a firmed portfolio of dispatchable battery assets.”
About Octopus Australia
Octopus Australia is a specialist renewable energy developer and fund manager in Australia. Octopus Australia has a team of 40 professionals in Melbourne (HQ) and Sydney, has an operating portfolio of $1.5bn and a development portfolio of $8bn across wind, solar and battery energy storage. Our active approach means we are much more than just a financial investor, with a team that has a unique blend of skills and expertise across all facets of the renewable energy market; including investment, development, energy markets (data & analytics), grid and engineering, asset management, and community engagement.
About Firm Power
Headquartered in Sydney, Firm Power is an Australian-owned energy company dedicated to developing high quality energy projects that accelerate the energy transition. The company has been in operation since early 2019, launching as the first project development company in Australia to be 100% focused on large-scale BESS before expanding into other energy transition solutions. Firm Power has experience partnering with global investors, offering full-service development capability and a unique approach to structuring and delivering energy assets to market.