ACT grants to support hydrogen, EV and "rugged portable solar" trials | RenewEconomy

ACT grants to support hydrogen, EV and “rugged portable solar” trials

Rugged portable solar, hydrogen storage, faster EV charging and residential batteries to replace gas share in grants awarded by ACT government.


Hydrogen storage, faster electric vehicle charging and a portable, rugged, solar power supply have will all receive backing from the ACT government, under the latest series of grants aimed at supporting new research and development in the national capital.

The ACT government has announced the latest projects to share in more than $1.1 million in funding on Thursday, provided under the Renewable Energy Innovation Fund (REIF), which will support innovation in battery storage, electric vehicle charging, hydrogen storage and a portable solar power supply.

ACT climate change and sustainability minister Shane Rattenbury said the grants would help build upon the clean energy technology research and development in Canberra.

“The ACT is a global climate action leader. At a time of climate emergency, we’re investing in innovative renewable energy projects that will cement the Territory’s growing reputation as a centre of renewables excellence,” Rattenbury said.

“Renewables are the way of the future. These grants will help organisations fast-track  clean energy research and development, while creating more jobs in the rapidly  growing renewable sector.”

The successful funding recipients are:

Evoenergy – Ginninderry stage 1 residential battery trial – $250,000
PV Lab – A PV module test laboratory: $219,830
Evenergi – Heavy electric vehicle performance simulation platform: $235,000
FlexG – Driving uptake of electric vehicles by reducing charging time: $135,000
ITP Renewables – Battery storage optimisation: $88,040
IT Power – Large scale hydrogen storage in vertical shafts: $130,000
Smart Blox – Solar Blox pilot program and certification: $50,440.50

Recipients include the innovative Solar Blox product, which is a portable, all-in-one solar power solution that allows for electricity to be produced and stored for use while travelling or in remote areas.

The Solar Blox has been developed by Canberra-based designer Tim Larson and is has been created to be deployable in tough environments, can be interconnected with multiple units to boost output, and was a finalist for the MIT Clean Energy Prize.

The ACT’s main supplier of gas will also receive a $250,000 grant to undertake a trial of residential battery storage technologies as part of a residential development in the new Canberra suburb of Ginninderry.

The suburb is being developed as one of Canberra’s first gas-free suburbs, with developers planning to equip homes with all-electric appliances, as well as their own solar and battery storage installations, through an interconnected microgrid.

IT Power has also received funding to investigate new hydrogen storage technologies. The ACT will soon deploy one of Australia’s first government-owned fleet of hydrogen vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have been purchased from Hyundai, with the vehicles currently being held in Canberra, as Covid-19 related delays to the installation of refuelling infrastructure are addressed.

The funding has been provided under the ACT government’s Renewable Energy Innovation Fund, which was established with $12 million in funding to support renewable energy research and development, using financial contributions from the ACT’s first two renewable energy auctions.

The aim of the funding is to support Canberra businesses to undertake research and development trials, as well as increasing the capacity for new research to be undertaken within the ACT.

The grants round off a flurry of clean energy announcements from the ACT government as it heads into caretaker mode ahead of a territory election scheduled for 31 October.

The ACT government announced that it had secured contracts with both Neoen and Global Power Generation, which will each develop 100MW wind farms to supply renewable electricity to the ACT, as well as each constructing a big battery system to be located within the ACT borders.

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