The government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is providing $100 million in grants for large-scale battery energy storage projects of 70MW or larger to provide essential system stability services to the electricity grid.
The funding will support at least three projects with a maximum grant of up to $35 million each and will be open to all battery energy storage technologies with advanced inverters.
The funding round will incentivise private sector investment and overcome barriers to the deployment of advanced inverter technology at scale, which can play an important role in keeping Australia’s grid secure as renewables continue to grow at pace.
According to the minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor, the government is working with the private sector to identify and support energy storage projects that will secure Australia’s record levels of renewables.
“Large-scale battery storage, along with gas and pumped hydro, will be an important part of Australia’s energy infrastructure mix as more and more renewables come into the grid,” he said.
“The Morrison government has delivered lower energy prices with household costs down by more than 10 percent, but we want to ensure Australians continue to enjoy lower prices. It is crucial to deliver the right infrastructure where it is needed to support our record levels of renewables.”
Assistant minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Tim Wilson, said that the plan to be carbon neutral by 2050 is coming to life through large scale batteries that harness the potential of renewables, while offsetting their intermittency.
“The Morrison government is backing technology solutions to build Australia’s future economy so we can power ahead while keeping electricity prices low for households and businesses,” Wilson said.
The Australian government, through ARENA, has funded six large-scale batteries since 2017, including the Energy Storage for Commercial Renewable Integration (ESCRI) project in South Australia which is currently the country’s largest battery operating with advanced inverter technology.
Expressions of interest will open in February 2022. For more information including funding guidelines and how to apply, visit the ARENA website.
These projects will support Australia’s whole-of-economy Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan and will help to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, while preserving industry sectors and establishing Australia as a leader in low-emissions technologies.