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Victoria seeks 100MW energy storage in $20m tender

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As the South Australian government launched its tender to install the country’s biggest battery storage installation, the Labor Andrews government in neighbouring Victoria was busy announcing its own $20 million tender, seeking proposals from companies to work with the state’s networks to install up to 100MW of grid-scale energy storage by 2018.

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Unveiled on Tuesday at the Melbourne headquarters of Tesla, this second round of energy tenders – following on from the large-scale solar round launched earlier this month – aims to attract a variety of storage solutions, including pumped hydro and batteries. It takes the Andrews government’s total investment in energy storage to $25 million.

In a statement on Tuesday, the government said the sort of proposals it was anticipating might include a 20MW battery storage array, such as that could help power a town the size of Bendigo or Ballarat for up to four hours during peak demand periods and avoid outages.

“Storage of this size is a first for Victoria and will drive innovation in our electricity sector and modernise the network – it means more investment and more jobs,” the release said.

Premier Daniel Andrews, whose government has been faced with the closure, this month, of the La Trobe Valley’s Hazelwood coal-fired power plant, said the tenders would help ensure Victoria remained “one of the most reliable energy producers in the world.”

“Our focus is on keeping Victoria’s diverse energy system as affordable, resilient and secure as possible, particularly during peak periods and extreme weather events,” Andrews said.

State energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio used the occasion to call on Australia’s Prime Minister to match the state’s investment in energy storage.

“This investment is about using all the technology available to us to ensure the security and reliability of our energy supply, while creating jobs,” D’Ambrosio said.

“Given Malcolm Turnbull’s new found interest in energy storage initiatives and the fact that Victoria has so far received only 4 per cent of ARENA’s total national funding, we call on Mr Turnbull to match our state’s investment in energy storage.”

Expressions of interest for the second round of tenders are being sought by April 15 2017 and should be sent to [email protected]  

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  • Rob G

    We have reached the tipping point. Bye-bye coal and Mr Canavan…

  • wmh

    The fossil fuel generator crowd have really got the renewable storage market started by their ill-judged blackouts in SA.

  • Mark W

    Slightly disappointed about the units quoted. Yes, battery banks do have a power rating, but the interesting number is the energy, and that is MWh, not MW. Can’t we even get this right on a forum devoted to energy and power?

    • Steve

      Both are relevant, and both should be reported. The relative importance comes down to what the battery is used for.

      • frostyoz

        Exactly. Is the battery to be for 4 hours of storage (the release refers to powering Bendigo or Ballarat for 4 hours), or for 5 minutes of grid frequency control? Bizarre that the Government can’t say it out loud. And if they mean a few minutes of frequency control, it is misleading in the extreme to compare it with powering cities for 4 hours.

        • Ian

          Cheez man, enough with the nitpicking. Why let a few electrical units get in the way of a good story.

          25 million bucks and the Andrews government are going to attract a variety of storage solutions including pumped storage and batteries. Hazel wood is closing and this huge investment in storage will sort out the mess. The article clearly says the 20MW battery-thingy will power Bendigo for 4 hours.

          I’ve got an old Bunnings umbrella they could use to stop this piece of innovation from getting wet.

          • Steve

            The PM clearly is needing some basic training on storage as per his comments in the AFR this morning. Oh and hey, we had a drought a couple years ago, but no worries those aren’t coming back anytime soon so let’s pump a bunch of money into a water dependent resource…

            “In one hour it could produce 20 times the 100MW per hour expected from the battery proposed by the South Australian government, but would deliver it constantly for almost a week, or 350,000 MWh over seven days.”

            Read more: http://www.afr.com/news/politics/federal-government-to-pour-2bn-into-major-snowy-hydro-expansion-20170315-guyo3r#ixzz4bSgv2tDq
            Follow us: @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook

      • Mark W

        Yeah. I agree that both are relevant. Cost and hence value for money will be more determined by MWh than by MW, so that is why I say MWh is the “interesting” number. I have seen this quoted in the media as both 100MW and 100MWh so still don’t have clarity and can’t find the tender specs. In this case, either makes some sense.

  • Andy Saunders

    “Unveiled on Tuesday at the Melbourne headquarters of Tesla”

    If I was a competitor, that would annoy me.

    • Matt

      Like libs NBN announce @ foxtel studios.

  • Brunel

    Why is the Vic government buying 80 MWh of storage?

    And if the SA Labor government is building a gas power station for A$360 million, is that an admission that Vic and SA should have held hands and saved the car factories? Even Sweden makes cars.

  • Chris Drongers

    Frydenburg’s accusation that South Australia is wrecking the NEM is a scattergun approach – how about making sure that the NEM works and can handle changes in the weather, variable inputs from renewables, failures at coal and gas generators.

    Frydenburg could then remind generators that their main responsibility is to keep the lights on. If that doesn’t/didn’t happen actions will be taken to make sure the lights do stay on, commercial interests of the NEM being of little immediate interest.

  • neroden

    MW or MWH? Please don’t screw this up even if the government is screwing it up.

    The “hour” matters

  • humanitarian solar

    This Victorian approach is far more sound than the SA approach. We’re no longer locating coal power stations on coal fields. Locating smaller 20MW battery storage arrays in strategic locations around Victoria, is far more useful than SA doing a tender for one 100MW facility. Smaller facilities enable more manufacturers to be involved and for grid reliability and energy security to be established before further closures of coal fired power stations.

    • Sri Juanita Hardy

      The SA scheme is for at least 100MW of storage not necessarily for one 100MW facility. Tom Koutsantonis said that they might have 2 or even 3 50MW facilities (if the money they’ve allocated will buy them) in different locations.

    • Mark W

      I think both approaches are required. You need big-arse storage facilities (for SA I reckon a total of 10-15GWh would allow almost all the fossil plants to be shut down) connected to the transmission grid to iron out mismatch between overall demand and overall supply. Then you need small-time storage located at distribution substations and perhaps even further into the network to even out the supply imbalances caused by distributed generation. That could of course be batteries in homes.

      My current prejudice is that things like pumped storage and solar thermal storage are best-suited to the former and batteries are best-suited to the latter, but I am often proven wrong.

      • humanitarian solar

        I agree and the present problem appears to be addressing a political challenge that could lead to election victory, by getting batteries out there ASAP by getting a few manufacturers into it concurrently. If air con is secured for summer, victory would be well in reach for the present government.

  • Siakklo6ligae

    Now, why dont we just start by preparing a battery waste dumpsite on the moon as part of the 100Mw Forward planning?