National power and communications infrastructure provider GenusPlus (ASX: GNP) has secured three contracts in collaboration with Samsung C&T Corporation. These contracts with the Melbourne Renewable Energy Hub (MREH) include the engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning of the Balance of Plant scope (i.e. the supporting components of a power plant), as well as the installation of a Battery Energy Storage Solution (BESS).
A BESS stores energy as a backup to be used when demand is high. It stores excess energy from various sources—both renewable and not. For instance, if the wind is too strong at night when people are not using as much electricity, the excess wind energy produced is stored in a BESS. Its advantages are multifold, including enhancing the use of renewable energy for electricity and avoiding waste.
The MREH project, constituting a substantial 600MW/1,600MWh BESS facility, is slated for Phase 1 development within the Hub. GenusPlus and Samsung C&T Corporation will execute these tasks on a lump sum and turn-key basis—i.e., on a fixed budget with no additional investments required.
In the joint venture, Genus holds 30% while Samsung C&T holds 70%. Overall, the Contract for MREH engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning for BOP scope and BESS installation works is valued at approximately $200 million.
Genus Managing Director David Riches said, “We are delighted to have secured this contract alongside our joint venture partner Samsung C&T. This is a milestone project for Genus. This contract gives us great confidence that the market sees our capability and capacity to deliver a project of this size and complexity. We look forward to working closely with EQUIS to deliver the project safely, successfully and on time.”
Situated 25km northwest of Melbourne’s commercial business district, the MREH is a significant energy storage precinct. Owned by Equis Development, an infrastructure developer in the Asia-Pacific region, and the Victoria State Electricity Commission (SEC), the project has influential stakeholders such as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.
This MREH has been recognised as a Project of State Significance by the Victorian Government, which has ambitious renewable energy targets, aiming for 95% by 2035, coupled with an energy storage target of 6.3 gigawatts by the same year. These targets are anticipated to catalyse approximately $9.5 billion in economic activity, generating 59,000 jobs through 2035.
Having received the necessary planning and environmental approvals, along with community impact assessments, MREH is poised for rapid progress. The Victorian Government undertook a Planning Scheme amendment in April 2021, and the project completion is estimated by June 2025.
MREH Phase 1 has been divided into three projects: two projects each comprising 400MWh of two-hour storage capacity, which will be owned 70% by Equis and 30% by the SEC, and one project comprising 800MWh of four-hour storage capacity which will be owned 51% by Equis and 49% by the SEC.
Recently, Genus was awarded another BESS project—the Kwinana Battery Energy Storage System Two (KBESS2) Civil and Electrical Balance of Plant, valued at about $90 million.
As companies race to achieve their renewable energy targets, GenusPlus is being energised by the anticipated profits.
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