Business

Japanese joint venture to enter world's largest battery business in Australia

Kyodo

A Japanese joint venture said Tuesday it will join a solar power generation business in Australia involving one of the world’s largest storage batteries.

JERA Co. will join hands with Fluence Energy LLC, a U.S.-German joint venture with energy storage technology, and Australian renewable-energy developer Lyon Group to construct three solar power plants involving the batteries with an output of 100 megawatts.

JERA, a venture between a Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. unit and Chubu Electric Power Co., will shoulder part of the ¥120 billion ($1.1 billion) cost.

The plan is to get the plants operational around 2019, a source close to the matter said. The solar power plants’ output is expected to total 550 megawatts.

The Japanese venture hopes to tap into the expanding renewable energy market and also acquire know-how on the development of batteries. It wants to use them to balance electrical supply and demand at its plants.

“JERA will explore the further application of energy storage systems, including the study of the effect of installing it into thermal power plants in Japan,” it said in a statement.

JERA plans to increase its national and overseas output of renewable energy to 3,000 megawatts in fiscal 2025 from the current 400 megawatts.

The Japanese government is promoting renewables as a key power source to curb the country’s nuclear dependence, stressing the need for development of batteries to store surplus renewable energy.