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CEFC to finance biggest Australian grid-scale battery storage project

battery storage

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has confirmed it is working with the South Australian Government to develop a financing package to support the accelerated delivery of Australia’s largest grid-scale battery storage project, for the South Australian energy market.

The South Australian Government is supporting the construction of Australia’s largest battery to store energy from the wind and sun, as part of its $150 million Renewable Technology Fund to support investment in clean, dispatchable and affordable power. It has opened a two-week Expression of Interest period for national and international companies interested in building the 100MW battery.

CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said the CEFC had been in discussion with a number of large-scale battery providers for some time, including those looking to offer potential energy storage solutions in South Australia.

“Storage and grid-scale batteries are an essential part of a strong electricity system. Storage will enable higher volumes of clean energy to be incorporated into the grid, as part of Australia’s modern electricity system of the future,” he said.

“Projects that can be implemented rapidly like this can complement a range of longer-term storage projects already under consideration. These could include a Snowy Mountains Scheme 2.0; the proposed Kidston pumped hydro development in Queensland; the proposed Cultana pumped hydro project on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia and potential improvements to Tasmania’s electricity system centred around its long established hydro facilities.”

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister requested Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) work together on a new funding round for large-scale storage and other flexible capacity projects.

“Today’s power systems are being digitised, with rapid and sophisticated control systems applying across the network,” said Yates.

“Regulatory systems need to keep up with the rapid pace of technology developments, supporting the adoption of new solutions that solve the new challenges.

“As South Australia is the leading state of renewable generation, it is set to become the leading state for the adoption of these new solutions.

“The CEFC has considerable expertise in the area of large-scale storage and flexible financing solutions. We are confident we can work with speed to contribute to a successful outcome in South Australia. We are also confident we can create a model that can be used in other states as they seek to integrate growing renewable energy capacity into a cleaner, cheaper and reliable energy system.”

In its submission to the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market, commonly referred to as the Finkel Review, the CEFC discussed how its investment activities can support for the development of a resilient, balanced and secure electricity system, which includes large-scale renewable energy, energy storage and other initiatives.

The CEFC, drawing on its experience as a specialist clean energy investor, framed out a number of areas that would benefit from reform, including:

  1. Market design to support security and reliability
  2. Technology to transform the electricity sector
  3. Barriers to investment

“Australia’s electricity system is seeing significant new investment, with clean energy solutions entering the market at increasing scale and price competitiveness as we look to achieve an energy system that is secure, affordable and sustainable,” said Yates.

“We are confident that Australia’s energy mix can incorporate higher levels of clean energy with strengthened transmission, better demand management systems and increased storage capacity, through a planned and coordinated approach.”

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