The investment giant transforming Australia.
The world’s biggest fund manager, BlackRock, has raised more than $500 million from local and offshore co-investors to help fund a giant grid-scale battery project in Australia that would rank as the largest in the southern hemisphere, and possibly the entire world.
Construction of the Waratah Super Battery, located at the site of the former Munmorah coal-fired power station, is targeted for completion before August 2025.
Just in time for the earliest possible closure of Origin Energy’s Eraring coal-fired power station.
Once complete, the Waratah Super Battery will be one of the biggest in the world, with 850 megawatts and 1680 megawatt-hours of capacity.
It is being designed to act as a “shock absorber” for when the grid faces sudden power surges, including from bushfires or lightning strikes.
The Waratah Super Battery will “bring long-term capital to drive Australia’s transition to a low-carbon economy”, with the $13 trillion investment giant saying “…the co-funding from institutional investors and the federal government’s green bank will accelerate the development”.
Funds managed by BlackRock’s infrastructure team will be invested on top of the additional $500 million it has raised from other investors to finance the battery.
As Australia’s shift away from coal gains speed, authorities say ‘big batteries’ capable “of storing renewable energy and dispatching it when it’s needed” will play an increasingly important role in filling urgent gaps in supply and stabilising the frequency and reliability of the power network.
Charlie Reid, BlackRock Asia-Pacific’s Co-Head of Climate Infrastructure, said the project would ‘help deliver the storage capacity needed to make the power grid more reliable and resilient’, and ‘help Australia achieve its renewable energy ambitions’.
“We firmly believe battery storage is the critical technology of today – applied both on a small scale in homes and for large-scale battery platforms,” Reid said.
BlackRock’s other co-investors in the project include education industry super fund NGS Super, and the federal government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which has tipped in $100 million.
“The Waratah Super Battery will help stabilise the electricity network and help deliver more of the cleanest, cheapest form of energy for Australian businesses and households,” federal Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said.
BlackRock’s funding announcement on Thursday comes after the investment giant acquired Melbourne-based battery developer, Akaysha Energy, last year.
They say they embarking on plans to develop battery storage projects in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.
Australia is experiencing one of the world’s fastest energy transitions away coal-fired power stations, which supply about two-thirds of the main grid, as they increasingly bring forward their closure dates.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) say they are growing increasingly nervous about the lagging pace of the rollout of new generation and “firming” assets – such as batteries and fast-start gas plants required to back up renewable energy when the wind isn’t blowing and sun isn’t shining –
It has stepped up calls for investors to ‘accelerate’ financial commitments for ‘urgently needed projects’.
Why don’t we take a look now at just how Australia’s energy network is run.
From here, you will see just how centralised much of this decision-making about our future really is.
They say ‘AEMO’ is getting ‘nervous’ about the lack of pace in transforming Australia’s energy network.
The Australian Energy Market Operator is responsible for operating Australia’s largest gas and electricity systems, including the National Electricity Market (NEM) – the interconnected power system in Australia’s eastern and south-eastern seaboard.
The group also control the Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) power system in Western Australia.
Since 1996, the generation, distribution and supply of electricity in eastern and southern Australian states has been amalgamated under the NEM.
Not just that, but at an undisclosed location beneath Sydney, the AEMO operates the secretive room that is responsible for all underlying processes of power generation in Australia.
The control room for this regulation has been described as the “brain centre” – a high-tech room filled with large computer screens running algorithms and various forms of technical equipment.
In this room, the entire NEM is maintained and distributed by a small, select group of people, who are responsible for the location, volume, fluctuation and price of Australia’s electricity.
And who are they answering too?
In recent decades, we have seen the utter takeover of Australian gas and electricity by foreign companies.
In 2018, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) made the decision to approve a $13 billion sale of gas pipeline infrastructure owner APA Group from China.
The move signified a turning point in Australian assets ownership, with CKI and the 100% Chinese government-owned State Grid – controlling nearly all of Australia’s east coast energy distribution assets.
CKI and State Grid (which includes Singapore Power) now have a major ownership interest in all of Victoria’s electricity and distribution networks, and all gas transmission pipelines and distribution networks. They also hold a 51 per cent stake in South Australia’s electricity distributor.
The move allowed general consumer pipelines across Australia to also be in CKI’s control.
Now that we are transitioning towards renewable energies over coal and gas, the same power players are all fighting to re-position themselves as kings of the ‘green world order’.
A world order that will involve even more amounts of electricity used, but now from alternatives like the giant battery BlackRock are planning to build in Australia.
Separately this week, mining giant Rio Tinto revealed that it had started building a specialised laboratory at its Melbourne research hub where it can develop batteries to test how the minerals it extracts, such as lithium, will work in real-world applications.
Australia’s second-largest miner has been pushing to ‘diversify’ its iron ore-dominated portfolio into lithium – a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries – and other metals that are needed in vastly greater volumes to build renewable energy and electric cars.
Sinead Kaufman, Rio Tinto’s Head of Minerals, told a mining forum in Brisbane that the company’s new laboratory at its Bundoora technical innovation centre was on track to be operational by November.
“At this lab we will build our own batteries, allowing us to test how our minerals and other products will perform in real-world applications, such as in … electric vehicle batteries,” Kaufman said.
Long-term electric vehicle demand and lithium forecasts continued to be “revised upwards”, she said
“The lithium market is expected to grow five-fold between now and 2030, with a significant supply-demand deficit expected from the second half of this decade,” she said.
“This means more battery materials are needed.”
What an interesting year to mention.
Furthermore, at what cost will this new world of energies come at?
As the world transitions to renewable energies to ‘fight climate change’, the demand — and the price — for cobalt, a crucial ingredient used to make lithium batteries, has skyrocketed.
These batteries power everyday technologies for much of the world, including mobile phones and electric car batteries. Yet, slave miners are largely responsible for all of this, in a sad state of affairs.
There are an estimated 200,000 people in the DRC working as slaves in cobalt mines, with another million people involved in other parts of the process.
But they don’t care. Because these batteries are the key ingredient to ensuring ‘off-peak’ hours can still generate massive amounts of energy when the sun isn’t out.
Technologies like ‘Concentrated Solar Power‘ are being brought to the forefront to solve the major challenges of “decarbonising the grid”: overnight energy storage.
Kaufman says the demand for battery metals was set to grow rapidly as governments and businesses across the world acted to meet the goals of the Glasgow Climate Pact under the Paris Agreement.
Good ole’ Agenda 2030.
You can bet when Rio Tinto (full of WEF puppets) and BlackRock (owner of the world) are making moves in your country.. things are surely about to take a turn for the worst.
The true off-shore entities that rule our ‘sovereign’ nations from abroad.
I wonder if they will also turn the ‘Big Battery’ into a tourist attraction like the Big Banana.
Alongside an electric-style theme park to celebrate our new found dystopia!
For more TOTT News:
Facebook — Facebook.com/TOTTNews
YouTube — YouTube.com/TOTTNews
Instagram — Instagram.com/TOTTNews
Twitter — Twitter.com/EthanTOTT
Bitchute — Bitchute.com/TOTTNews
Gab — Gab.com/TOTTNews