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Tomago businesses have shown a diverse ability to deliver on technology and advanced manufacturing, reaffirming that the Hunter is a hub for excellence in design and manufacturing of high end products.
Investing in the region and making it home is Energy Renaissance.
Energy Renaissance, Australiaâ€™s first lithium-ion battery manufacturer, has announced that it will build Renaissance One, a new A$28 million battery manufacturing facility in Tomago.
The company plans to produce batteries that are safe, affordable and optimised to perform in hot climates.
Energy Renaissanceâ€™s batteries can be used to power infrastructure, buildings, businesses and homes.
â€śWe have settled on Tomago as the site of our first plant, construction will commence and the plant is scheduled for completion in 2021,â€ť said Mark Chilcote, Managing Director of Energy Renaissance.
The 4,000 sqm purpose-built facility will be constructed by local property developer ABT Morton.
The plant will have an initial battery production capacity of 66MWh per annum, with plans to scale its Australian operation to 5.3GWh of energy storage per annum with an additional investment of more than $200 million.
â€śOver 1,700 direct jobs will be created during the construction and operational phase and another 6,500 indirect jobs will be generated for the benefit of the Hunter.
â€śThe Hunter region has all the right skills, natural resources, expertise and an abundance in solar energy for us to develop a successful battery manufacturing business in Australia,â€ť Chilcote said.
While some of the batteries will stay in Australia itâ€™s expected that more than half of the batteries produced at Renaissance One will be exported through the Port of Newcastle.
The Federal Government provided a co-funded grant of $246,625 through the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre to Energy Renaissance.
This has been used to accelerate research and development as it starts to manufacture batteries locally.
Patron Senator for the Hunter Region Hollie Hughes congratulated Energy Renaissance on its investment in the Hunter during a ground-breaking ceremony at the Tomago site.
â€śEnergy Renaissance will make clean and affordable energy more accessible and create greater energy security for Australia and our neighbouring countries.
â€śOnce Renaissance One is operating at capacity, it will be able to provide â€“ in the space of a year â€“ enough batteries to power every public school, hospital, fire station, SES unit and new homes built in Australia.
â€śThatâ€™s reassuring because Australia will be able to rely on its own source of renewable energy in the very near future,â€ť Senator Hughes said.
Hughes went on to say that the companyâ€™s investment in the local economy will support the Hunter region and help lead Australiaâ€™s economic recovery.
The Federal Governmentâ€™s Technology Investment Roadmap has singled out the potential for Australia to be a world leader in the investment for renewable energy.
Batteries produced by companies such as Energy Renaissance will make electricity clean and more affordable in Australia.
By Marian SAMPSON