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Carnegie teams with Samsung, Lend Lease for battery storage hub

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Perth-based Carnegie Clean Energy is proposing to set up a solar-storage energy hub in South Australia as part of its pitch for the state government’s ground-breaking battery storage tender.

In a joint announcement with energy minister Tom Koutsantonis and premier Jay Weatherill in Adelaide on Friday morning, Carnegie CEO Michael Ottaviano said the company has teamed up with Lend Lease Services and South Korea’s Samsung for the proposal.

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It proposes to build a 100MW/100MWh lithium-ion battery, using Samsung technology, and wants to do this in Adelaide in a centre that will evolve into a “battery storage” hub, building new battery systems and doing R&D and integration work.

“This is an opportunity to build an industry for the future,” Ottaviano told journalists in Adelaide. “This will be the first 100MW battery, not the last.”

Carnegie’s is just one of a number of proposals for the state government tender, which closed at 12 noon local time on Friday.

Others include the $1 billion solar and battery storage project unveiled by Lyon Solar on Thursday, and rival offers from Zen Energy/Greensmith, Tesla, LG Chem, Adelaide-based silicon storage developer 1414 and many more.

Koutsantonis said the tender had elicited an “unprecedented” response with more than 200 downloads from nine different countries. Final numbers will be revealed on Monday.

“It has captured international attention for people to see opportunities with our remarkable renewable energy power,” Koutsantonis said. “You can hand around lumps of coal, or you can move forward with new technologies. Storage will become the norm and we will be at the forefront of that.”

Ottaviano says the battery storage hub would be powered by a “multi-megawatt” rooftop solar system – and could employ 300 people to deliver the project, including electricians and engineers from sunset manufacturing industries in South Australia.

He said Carnegie would own the battery storage unit, and use it to trade energy, arbitraging opportunities in the market, and also playing in the FCAS (frequency and ancillary services) market when not being called upon by the government to provide grid support.

But he said such installations would rely on government support until market rules were changed that would level the playing field for battery storage.

“As renewable energy penetration inevitably increases across the country, the need for utility-scale energy storage will grow in lockstep,” Ottaviano said in a later statement.

“The deployment of utility-scale battery systems creates an opportunity for South Australia and Australia to develop a new local industry and export this capability throughout our region.”

Weatherill told journalists that battery storage was exciting because it sourced “free energy” from the wind and the sun, and would create the jobs of the future.

“What we’re starting here in South Australia is incredibly important. We’re starting a new industry.”  

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  • humanitarian solar

    The first issue seems to be getting the AEMC to acknowledge the democratic process of the country has spoken and enact the 5 minute rule. Additionally, with this statement here:

    “As renewable energy penetration inevitably increases across the country, the need for utility-scale energy storage will grow in lockstep,” Ottaviano said in a later statement.

    I hope we’re designing around local populations and communities, not still unconsciously designing around a centralised grid. The generation and storage needs to be at least vaguely located and sized for specific regional areas and communities.

  • Stephen Wootten

    So Carnegie won’t be using their own wave technology? I’m wondering if this project is not near enough to the waves or has this tech been overtaken by the drop in price of PV?

    • FeFiFoFum

      I am sure they changed their name for a reason 🙂

  • NewTech

    How about they complete the projects that are already 8 months late they have committed too with the CSIRO/State Government at the Murchison Radio Observatory…..Wake up Australian Government and stop rewarding the companies that spin the most garbage…….

    • jrdbull

      You are absolutely spot on. The crap that this company spins is mind boggling. Deliver 100MW in 100 days!!! As you rightly identified, still haven’t finished MRO which is around 1 year late. As for the claim the largest battery integrator in Australia, again complete rubbish? There are countless other Australian companies that easily surpass their baseless claim. The Federal and State Government need to wake up to these con men.

    • WR

      According to the Commonweatlh senate the MRO solar panel and battery project was completed in the September quarter last year. Horizon Power seems to agree with this.

      By the way, the contract for that project was with EMC. Carnegie Energy didn’t buy EMC until October last year. this was after the completion of the project. So Carnegie didn’t have anything at all to do with the project.

      • NewTech

        I believe the Horizon Power solar portion(seperate to EMC/CSIRO contract) and diesel generation was completed on time and budget. Now running.

        There is another portion(EMC/CSIRO) which is nearly a year behind with several MW of solar already installed and not outputting for just under a year due to delays by EMC….which is now Carnegie.

        As with most sales when you buy a company you buy there projects/problems too. Instead of flaunting new ideas finish the ones they already committed too…make it a priority.

      • jrdbull

        Hi WR, could you point to where you have read this report in the Commonwealth Senate? I believe speaking to some guys in the know in the West just recently that the array was finished but the battery is still outstanding. It was suggested that Carnegie had to acquire EMC 100% because they had run out of money on MRO. It was due early 2016 and to their knowledge it is still not even on site today. Infact on the latest 7.30 Report, the CEO of Carnegie was standing in front of a 2.5MWh battery, I suspect CSIRO’s.

  • Mark Harnack

    Carnegie Vapourware for sale. Free imaginary steak knives for every 50 million dollars of government funding.

    I fear that once the rort from Carnegie is finally exposed that the lnp government might use this as a poster child against supporting renewables like the Republicans tried to do with solyndra.

    • jrdbull

      Speaking to someone recently on a trip over to WA for a conference and they suggested this is exactly what Carnegie are renowned for… apparently been involved in rorting investors and tax payers for years. I’m surprised the media and ASIC hasn’t looked into the shady dealings. I and many others were outraged recently to read that the WA State government is looking to support them to the tune of 19million. An audit by a senate enquiry should be held to determine where all the tax payer money has gone over the years. You are right though Mark, these guys have the ability to really tarnish the industry. Most people with half a brain know that the wave technology they hang their hat on is a very, very long way off… if at all. Reading between the lines, an obvious reason for diversifying into a tradition solar business, although haven’t heard a good word about them either.