Japan’s JERA, a US-German joint venture and an Australian firm have teamed up to develop battery storage projects in the Asia-Pacific, including the world’s biggest, targeting a market expected to be worth several billion dollars by 2022.

Reuters reports that JERA, a joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power Co and Chubu Electric Power Co are making a move into green energy. Tepco is the world’s top buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and one of the world’s biggest coal traders.

JERA will fund energy storage projects with Australian renewable power developer Lyon Group, while Fluence – a joint venture between US power company AES Corp and Germany’s Siemens AG provides battery technology.
The companies will focus first on batteries for three solar farms, together expected to cost up to $1.1bn), that Lyon Group plans to build in Australia.

Globally, demand for utility-scale batteries is expected to rise to 28 GW, worth more than $15bn, by 2022, up from 2 GW committed by electricity providers in 2017, according to estimates from Fluence and others.

Fluence sees opportunities in Asia in Japan, China, Korea and India, but for the moment sees Australia growing the fastest as the country copes with rapid growth in renewable energy, soaring power prices and an ageing grid.

“That market has huge potential to grow very, very quickly,” Fluence’s Asia Pacific market director, Mark Leslie, told Reuters, while Lyon Group Chairman David Green said in a statement, “There are many markets beyond Australia where big batteries can provide substantial value in terms of network strength and dispatchable capacity.”

Lyon’s Riverland project in South Australia would be the world’s biggest battery, with 400 megawatt hours (MWh) of storage, eclipsing the current largest, Tesla’s 129 MWh battery, also in South Australia.

Lyon said construction is expected to begin on all three of its projects within months. Riverland and the Nowingi project in the state of Victoria need offers to connect to the grid before construction can begin. 

Battery storage is one of the hot topics at Electrify Europe next month in Vienna. Find out more and register here.