The Victorian government’s push for 100MW of energy storage appears to impose deadlines could be impossible to meet for some technologies, including solar thermal and pumped hydro.
The state government announced last week that it was expanding its energy storage tender from 20MW to 80MW, and would invite proposals from batteries, pumped hydro, compressed air, flywheel, and solar thermal technologies.
But its deadline seems impossible to meet for at least two of those technologies – with 30MW expected to be installed by next summer and 50MW by the following summer.
Pumped hydro facilities are likely to take several years to build, because of the infrastructure needed for dams and tunnels or pipelines. Likewise, solar thermal technologies such as solar towers would take at least two years, insiders say.
Proposals for the Victoria tender are due to be submitted by next month, after which time the government is likely to provide more information in a formal tender about capacity and hours of storage needed.
It has already done so for its first storage tender, in the north-west around Horsham and Bendigo, or in the south-west around Terang, where it is seeking 20MW/80MWh of battery storage to deal with a specific issues in the local grid, and to enable it to welcome more wind and solar plants in the future.
It is just one of a number of large scale storage tenders, with South Australia looking for 100MW of battery storage, with initial expressions of interest due next week, and also seeking battery storage in tandem with peaking gas plants for emergency back-up.
South Australia is also due to release “soon”, the results of its tender for 25 per cent of the government electricity needs to be provided by “dispatchable renewables”, meaning wind and solar with storage.
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