Queensland opens registrations for 100MW energy storage auction | RenewEconomy

Queensland opens registrations for 100MW energy storage auction

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Queensland govt opens registrations for reverse auction, with aim of installing 100MW of energy storage before 2020, alongside 400MW new solar and wind.

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The Queensland Labor government has kicked off its large-scale energy storage auction, calling for early registration of companies wishing to tender for the installation of up to 100MW of energy storage before 2020, alongside 400MW of new solar and wind farms.

Source: Flickr

The Renewables 400 auction was officially launched on Monday, as a key plank of the Palaszczuk government’s Powering Queensland Plan – a $1.6 billion scheme, first unveiled in June, to help the state meet its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.

Speaking from the Brisbane factory of lead-acid battery maker Century Batteries, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the plan included a “specific process” to secure up to 100MW of energy storage before 2020.

Century Batteries – which is expected to bid in the energy storage auction – today announced plans to further expand its factory in Carole Park, south-west Brisbane, producing the first sealed maintenance free (SMF) lead-acid battery designed and built in Australia.

Visiting the manufacturing facility today, the Premier said she welcomed Century Batteries’ interest in key initiatives of her Government, including an upcoming reverse auction for 100 megawatts of energy storage and its active work with government-owned corporations and emergency services to supply critical power.

“Energy storage will play an important role in the transition to higher levels of renewable energy and this process will support the accelerated deployment of this important technology,” the Premier said.

Treasurer and Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt said that under the reverse auction process, companies would bid for Queensland government support for both renewable generation and storage projects – most of which would be situated in the state’s regions.

“This early registration provides adequate time to ensure they are ready to hit the ground running when the process opens,” Minister Pitt said.

“Successful bidders will be awarded financial contracts with the government for some or all of the electricity they generate which will provide them with long-term certainty allowing them to secure the financing required to deliver their project.

“The ‘reverse’ nature of the auction process means that companies are encouraged to bid for the lowest price necessary to support their project.”

Pitt said successful bidders would be chosen not only on price but also with priority given to projects that supported local jobs and businesses, and “with a view to creating a diverse mix of renewable energy generation and storage to support a secure, reliable and affordable supply of electricity into the future.”

In this way, he said, the Palaszczuk government hoped to continue the “unprecedented momentum” in new renewable energy investment and energy storage that had finally begun to gather across the state.

As Giles Parkinson has pointed out in this story today, up until now, Queensland – Australia’s “Sunshine State” – has had very little large-scale renewable energy to speak of.

But momentum is indeed gathering. According to Pitt, the past 18 months has seen 17 new projects financially committed in Queensland, including $2.3 billion of investment and 2,200 construction jobs.

“Energy is undergoing a transformational change in the way it is generated, transported and used and as a government you have to plan for that and not stick your head in the sand and pretend our only option is expensive coal-fired power stations anymore,” he said on Monday.

“We’re committed to transitioning to a clean energy future in a responsible, achievable and sustainable way – with affordability always front and centre.”

For more information on the 400MW Reverse Auction, or to access the register of interest visit www.dews.qld.gov.au.

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  1. Chris Schneider 3 years ago

    what bs political manoeuvring they have 500 MW of storage sitting dormant with 250 MW coming online in the next few months! it just doesn’t sell as many votes and labour can’t be seen to agree with the Turnbull government on anything. we don’t need lithium batteries here we need pumped hydro! it’s cheaper with more capacity. there is no rush for Queensland. unlike SA which needs a back up plan for a short time while they work on a long term solution.

    • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

      Is it really cheaper if you take a ten year view? Even just looking ahead five years lithium battery costs will almost certainly plummet. It’s not just powerwalls pushing them across the cost curve, it’s also a ramping electric car market.

      • Chris Schneider 3 years ago

        Ok, Firstly Expressions are for the next few years so the existing cost is important. The price is falling not plummeting, it’s an order of magnitude issue not half the cost! Even if a lithium battery was halved every year (not going to happen) it would be ten years before it was competitive with Hydro. It’s a stop gap for failure to plain or small system, like Islands that were power by Diesel. Queensland already have enough variable capacity for well over 5GW (pumped hydro of 500MW = 1GW because it’s also pulls power which is a massive benefit and there is 4.7GWs of Gas) of unpredictable supply load, not taking into consideration most renewables are perfectly predictable. This means we wouldn’t need any more variable supply for the next few years at least. Add to to that the Work already done on 1414degrees and the pumped hydro mapping and we have plenty of time to put in reliability in the state if it’s needed. Remember the Queensland government still owns everything.

        South Australia were blindsided by the Coal closures and the unreliability of gas generators to supply needed power. Queensland has never and will never have that same issue. We have far too much resilience. The pumped hydro has not been used this year! Just that alone will mean this is irrelevant. 14 hours of pumping @ -600MW and 10 hours of supply @ 500MW. Free! No real money needs to be spent. It could be running tomorrow!

        • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

          Yes it’s extremely rare to see hydro power on the Qld bar of the energy widget. Do the SE Qld dams act as flood buffers, and wouldn’t that prevent usage as power generators during flood events and for weeks afterwards? In terms of cost comparison, new pumped hydro will take years longer to construct – the question is what is the minimum time in which a new pumped hydro plant could be constructed and begin operating – and what will the cost of lithium batteries be by that point in time, give or take 100 days?

          • Chris Schneider 3 years ago

            Please read before commenting. We have 500MW of PUMPED hydro. Our normal hydro is quite small. The pumped hydro is not used because the corporatised government agency that runs it can make more money by not running it. There is now other reason, so we have 600MW of pumping for 14 hours we can take out of the grid and 500MW of generation capacity for 10 hours with can put into the grid. Then there is Kidston currently in development which would add an extra 250MW for 6 hours. Adding both of these would flatten demand in Queensland and therefore remove supply cost fluctuations.

  2. Sally Noel Triggell 3 years ago

    Splityard creek in conjunction with Wivenhoe dam, is a pumped hydro installation, buildt in the 70’s to use night time excess coal fired generation, and release water for generation at peak demand times. Not too hard I imagine to convert to using wind and solar instead. CS energy own the facility and doesn’t seem to want to use the power when needed as during the last heat wave event.

    • solarguy 3 years ago

      Ummmmmm……………….what’s going on then

      • Chris Schneider 3 years ago


  3. solarguy 3 years ago

    They can buy a lot more storage for $1.6billion.

  4. Scottish Scientist 3 years ago

    “100MW” only specifies the power, not the energy storage which is quoted in MW-HOURS not mere “MW”.

    I recommend specifying 5 hours times wind and solar capacity, which for 400MW of wind and solar = 5 x 400MW = 2,000 MWh – Mega-Watt-HOURS as you can see from the Wind Generation Capacity Focus Table, at this link
    and here

    Note that if designing for 100MW peak demand power, then 100MW regeneration power from the energy storage would also need backing up by about 30MW of back-up power, perhaps biomass burning or conventional hydro.

    Wind, storage and back-up system designer

    Peak demand, wind and back-up power / energy usage and storage capacity calculator

    For the specification and design of renewable energy electricity generation systems which successfully smooth intermittent wind generation to serve customer demand, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year.

    Adopting the recommendation derived from scientific computer modelling that the energy storage capacity be about 5 hours times the wind power capacity, the tables offer rows of previously successful modelled system configurations – row A, a configuration with no back-up power and rows B to G offering alternative ratios of wind power to back-up power. Columns consist of adjustable power and energy values in proportion to fixed multiplier factors.

    Scottish Scientist
    Independent Scientific Adviser for Scotland

    * Wind, storage and back-up system designer
    * Double Tidal Lagoon Baseload Scheme
    * Off-Shore Electricity from Wind, Solar and Hydrogen Power
    * World’s biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro-scheme, for Scotland?
    * Modelling of wind and pumped-storage power
    * Scotland Electricity Generation – my plan for 2020
    * South America – GREAT for Renewable Energy

    • Scottish Scientist 3 years ago

      The reason for all those other considerations is that when you don’t specify a complete package for on demand power 24/7/52 then you are leaving a huge problem of intermittent wind and solar power and customers who want power on demand for grid managers to sort out.

      And frankly “100MW” of battery power that lasts for 10 minutes is not going to be any use. 100MW for 20 hours is 2000 MWh and that’s what’s needed for 100MW for the customer on demand.

      Come on now, it is time to get proper plans in place. Less of the amateurism.

      • Chris Schneider 3 years ago

        Scottish, Batteries (lithium) are really for exactly what you are saying they are not longer term and really don’t need to be, they need to be flash in the pan to allow Gas plants to take over or just make the bumps less pronounced and get rid of peaking needs. Hydro or even the technology from companies like 1414 degrees are really needed to make the transition.

      • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

        Lithium batteries have economies of scale because they are mass-produced in automated factories which can be scaled to meet increasing demand, and costs fall down the cost curve (further increasing demand) as production volume is ramped.

        Lithium batteries can also be finely distributed around the grid (a wee bit like battered haggis) so compared to pumped hydro there is far less risk of outage if one major transmission or distribution line is knocked out by a storm.

        Pumped hydro has no, or minimal, economies of scale, because each project is geographically (among other aspects) unique. Pumped hydro is a great idea, but I don’t think it should see its main competitor as lithium batteries because it will get it’s wee arse kicked, but instead it should compete with the gas generators, particularly here in Australia where gas is expensive and getting more so over the long term.

  5. Jeremy Element 2 years ago

    We are working on establishing a Solar farm on 500 acres at Chinchilla, apparently big enough to supply 100 to 125 MW.
    We are fairly well advanced on our own but could use advise, Grants, PPA, etc
    Any interested parties that could give advise or would like to get involved, please contact
    Jeremy Element
    [email protected]

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