BlackRock Goes Big on Batteries in Australia, Citing ‘Tremendous’ Opportunity for Investors

By Nick Hedley

BlackRock’s real assets unit is acquiring Australian battery storage group Akaysha Energy and providing A$1 billion (US$690 million) in capital to help it build nine advanced storage facilities with a combined capacity of more than 1GW.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance says 345GW of battery storage capacity is likely to be added globally by 2030, with much of it in the Asia-Pacific region. Aside from storing energy from wind and solar plants, advanced batteries can support electricity grids by providing voltage management, system strength, inertia, and frequency control services.

BlackRock and Akaysha said in a joint statement battery storage will play a critical role in getting Australia’s power generation mix to 82% renewables by 2030.

“As renewable energy infrastructure continues to mature in Australia, investment is required in battery storage assets to ensure the resilience and reliability of the grid, especially with the continued earlier-than-expected retirement of coal-fired power stations,” said Charlie Reid, BlackRock’s co-head of climate infrastructure for the Asia-Pacific region.

“For our clients, we see tremendous long-term growth potential in the development of advanced battery storage assets across Australia and in other Asia-Pacific markets and look forward to working with Akaysha to ensure an orderly transition to a cleaner and secure energy future.”

This is the first battery storage investment made by BlackRock’s climate infrastructure business – part of BlackRock Real Assets – in the Asia-Pacific region.

Established in 2021, Akaysha plans to develop storage projects in other markets in the region, including in Japan and Taiwan, according to the statement. It will also consider adjacent renewable energy opportunities – including developing green hydrogen assets.

Nick Carter, managing director of Akaysha, said, “The Asia-Pacific region is at the dawn of its energy transition from carbon-emitting fossil fuels to intermittent renewable resources and we believe a successful shift to a more sustainable energy future is dependent on the use of large-scale battery storage.”