Energy Renaissance has secured government support to build a 1GW lithium-ion battery facility in Darwin.

The company spent two years scoping out sites for Australia’s first lithium-ion battery factory and recognises the support of the Northern Territory Government in helping it site the facility in Darwin.

The company is researching sources of raw materials, including lithium. “Initial conversations underway,” Energy Renaissance marketing director Julie Frikken told EcoGeneration.

The materials will be processed overseas but the development of a battery factory in Australia may push forward the possibility of developing processing facilities in Australia.

Plans so far are for the company to produce cells, containerised storage solutions for industrial customers, batteries for use in electric vehicles and custom solutions on a “line by line” basis.

There are no plans to produce batteries for use in residential systems.

It will target the domestic market and South-East Asia, Frikken said.

Energy Renaissance is hoping to have the plant operational by the end of 2018 or start of 2019, she said. It will start with one production line and add lines within its first year of operation.

“Battery storage will be an important element in future renewable energy propositions and it is exciting Energy Renaissance has identified Darwin as its preferred site,” said Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner.

“Darwin is the capital of the north and we provide strategic advantages with our proximity to market. Projects such as this will help the Territory’s economy grow over the long term, creating exciting local job and career opportunities for Territorians.”

The territory Labor Government supports a target of 50% renewable energy by 2030, Gunner said this week.

The next steps are facility design and a final decision on a site in Darwin. Development of a manufacturing facility requires access to a suitable industrial site, supply chain infrastructure and a skilled and technologically-literate workforce.