Brief

Two Australian states embrace grid-scale storage for power reliability

Dive Brief:

  • Two Australian states are ramping up energy storage to address rising electricity costs and rolling blackouts, according to media reports.

  • In South Australia, the government says it will hold a competitive solicitation for a 100 MW battery storage installation and construct a 250 MW gas plant, according to Energy Storage News reports. 
  • The state of Victoria is also investing $20 million in an effort to boost energy storage to 100 MW by the end of next year, ABC News reports. 

Dive Insight:

The government announcements come days after Tesla told South Australia officials that it could install a 100 MW battery system in 100 days that would solve the state’s power problems.

South Australia has been suffering from rolling blackouts brought about by high heat and a lack of baseload power. The situation has attracted developers like ZEN Energy and Tesla, who say that battery storage could go a long way toward integrating renewables into the state’s grid and solving grid instability problems.

South Australia officials also announced plans for a 250 MW gas-fired generator to act as backup for intermittent renewables.

Officials said the gas plant would be turned on only when power shortfalls are forecasted, according to ABC. A bill is reportedly in the works to give the state energy minister more control over power dispatch, after criticisms of the Australian grid operator stemming from the power outages.   

Victoria, meanwhile, is looking at a range of energy storage solutions, including batteries, pumped hydro storage and solar thermal technology. The $20 million investment will come on top of a separate $5 million solicitation for a 20 MW energy storage system issued last month. 

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Filed Under: Generation Solar & Renewables Energy Storage Distributed Energy Regulation & Policy
Top image credit: E.On