BlackRock Pours $700-M Into Aussie Battery Storage Firm
A fund under the management of BlackRock Real Assets is set to acquire Akaysha Energy, an Australian firm that develops battery storage and renewable energy projects, Anmar Frangoul reported for CNBC.
Photo Insert: An Akaysha Energy battery storage facility
In an announcement Tuesday, BlackRock said it intended to commit in excess of 1 billion Australian dollars (around $700 million) of capital “to support the build-out” of more than 1 gigawatt of battery storage assets.
Looking ahead, BlackRock said Akaysha had plans to develop energy storage projects in a range of Asia-Pacific markets, including Japan and Taiwan in the near term.
Effective, large-scale storage systems are set to become increasingly important as renewable energy capacity expands. This is because while sources of energy such as the sun and wind are renewable, they are not constant.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that a “rapid scale-up of energy storage is critical to meet flexibility needs in a decarbonized electricity system.”
According to the IEA, investment in battery storage grew by nearly 40% in 2020, reaching $5.5 billion.
In a statement Tuesday, Charlie Reid, who is APAC co-head of climate infrastructure at BlackRock, said that as Australian renewable energy infrastructure continued to “mature,” investment would be needed in battery storage assets.
This was, he said, required, “to ensure the resilience and reliability of the grid, especially with the continued earlier-than-expected retirement of coal-fired power stations.”
In July, Norway’s Equinor said it would acquire US-based battery storage developer East Point Energy after signing an agreement to take a 100% stake in the company. Equinor, a major producer of oil and gas, said Charlottesville-headquartered East Point Energy had a 4.1-gigawatt pipeline of “early to mid-stage battery storage projects focused on the US East Coast.”