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S.A. Labor commits to 750MW “renewable storage” target

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South Australia’s Labor government has committed to introducing Australia’s first storage target if re-elected at next month’s state election, aiming to install 750MW of storage by 2025.

Energy minister Tom Koutsantonis says the “25 per cent Renewable Storage Target” will accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and comes as the government lifts its renewables target to a 75 per cent share of generation by 2025.

The target is the first of its kind in Australia, and follows similar initiatives by sub-national governments in California and NewYork, who also have much higher renewable targets than their federal government.

Indeed, Koutsantonis said the Renewable Storage Target is based is based on the California model, which aims for some 1,300MW of storage by 2020. Arizona is looking at an even more ambitious target.

(Please note: Governments and government authorities habitually make storage targets in terms of megawatts rather than megawatt hours).

“We have seen the impact of storage technology in South Australia, with the Tesla battery at Jamestown wiping tens of millions of dollars off the cost of electricity in South Australia in its first few months of operation,” Koutsantonis said in a statement.

“Through the Renewable Storage Target, Labor will accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewables and lower bills for South Australians.

“Renewable energy is cheap because the fuel source is free, and by partnering with storage companies to drive investment in new projects we can lower energy bills for South Australian families and businesses.”

South Australia is already well on its way to 750MW of storage, with the 100MW/129MWh Tesla big battery already complete, and another 30MW/8MWh battery under construction next to the Wattle Point wind farm.

It has also unveiled a Tesla-led virtual power plant with 650MWh of battery storage distributed across 50,000 homes, and later this year, construction will start on the 150MW solar tower and molten salt storage facility near Port Augusta, another 10MW battery near the Lincoln Gap wind farm, and a 21MW battery next to the Snowtown wind farm and soon-to-be-built Snowtown solar farm.

The state government also announced on Wednesday $3 million in funding for a  2MW/500kWh Battery Energy Storage system (BESS) to create a mini-grid at the old General Motors Holden site in Elizabeth.

The battery system will be installed by Carnegie Clean Energy, following its recent mini-grid tender win for Kalbarri in Western Australia.

Additionally, the state government has announced funding for feasibility studies in five different large pumped hydro storage projects, and numerous other developers plan some sort of storage with their new wind and solar plants.

The federal government announced on Wednesday that it would provide funds for two of those pumped hydro projects through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, including the 225MW/1770MWh Cultana project, which could be the world’s biggest sea-water pumped hydro facility.

It will also spend $500,000 furthering a feasibility study for GFG Alliance’s plans for a 90MW/390MW pumped hydro plant in the old iron Duchess iron ore mine in the Middlebank Ranges, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s plans to build 1GW of solar and storage to power the Whyalla steelworks and other big energy users.

Both ARENA grants match similar funding made by the South Australia state government.

The South Australia Renewable Storage Target will draw monies from the $150 million Renewable Technology Fund, launched in March last year as part of the State Labor Government’s energy plan.

The government said the fund has already leveraged more than $1.2 billion in private investment and will create almost 1000 jobs in South Australia through supporting a number of storage projects, including:

  •   H2U green hydrogen power plant near Port Lincoln
  •   Tesla and Neoen big battery at Jamestown
  •   Tesla Virtual Power Plant
  •   Tilt solar farm and big battery at Snowtown
  •   SIMEC ZEC pumped hydro project near Whyalla
  •   Altura pumped hydro project near Port Augusta
  •   Rise pumped Hydro project near Port Germein
  •   EnergyAustralia pumped hydro project near Whyalla
  •   1414 Degrees bioenergy storage at the Glenelg Waste Water Treatment Plant
  •   Sunshift solar storage project
  •   Planet Ark Schneider solar storage project Quotes attributable to Premier Jay Weatherill

  

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  • Rob

    If only Jay and Tom were our Federal leaders!

    • JoeR_AUS

      SA population increased by 10k in one year, Sydney increase by 1million in 3 years – what you can do in SA does not really reflect what could be done any where else.

      • Peter F

        Sydney is much larger but the growth was 300,000 over 3 years not 1 m. However NSW budget is even larger so a renewable transformation in NSW would be relatively less costly

        • JoeR_AUS

          First: Sydney Population went from 4.3m to 5.3M in 5 years as at 2016 and now the next 1 mi in only 3 years…..

          Urbanization is tearing down single-family detached home around 49% to under 20% by 2050 – which means more Apartments and Units with no solar, battery capacity – Mini New York without the 70% Nuclear/Gas infrastructure

          NSW government owns its public service 90b in unfunded entitlements, so no renewable transformation…..

          • Andrew Lang

            Are you suggesting that Sydney is a lost cause – as far as renewables is concerned?

          • JoeR_AUS

            Not at all but I don’t envy any Federal government who has this to resolve as NSW, Sydney is on a bender with population expansion.

          • Andrew Lang

            Agreed, but first someone has to have the will to make a change. Perhaps in a few years NSW will find a govt. with this, as Jay has in SA.
            As SA_Jack says, “a multifronted approach” seems to be good way of getting all sorts of interests on board, attracting investment, not leaving taxpayers funding the entire bill.

          • Andrew Lang

            New York would seem to have a fairly agressive approach to renewable power generation & storage https://insideclimatenews.org/news/24052017/new-york-renewable-energy-electrical-grid-solar-wind-energy-coal-natural-gas

          • Peter F

            There is no foundation for your claim of 1m growth in 3 years. It took 17 years to grow from m to 5m.

            Just because you owe $900,000 on your mortgage doesn’t mean you can’ find $15,000 for a solar/battery installation.
            Most of the investment will by private citizens corporations.
            All the solar does not have to be on roofs although Sydney has about 350 m square meters of roofs, car parks, railway platforms etc that are suitably oriented for solar panels. That works out at about 70 GW of capacity.
            Germany with old technology and relatively low winds and solar makes 630 MWh per square km. The grid accessible area of NSW is almost double that of Germany and wind and solar resources per square km are 20-50% higher.
            With current generation technology and one wind turbine for every 12 square km, the same a Germany and the same density of solar panels NSW could generate about 1,100 TWh of electricity while demand is around 80 TWh.

          • JoeR_AUS

            What I owe, wow that’s a big assumption right there

            I bought 30 years ago and else were I wrote that a 6kwh system (which wont fit on my roof) will power my home for 8days last June…..

            So who will fund all this, I don’t see this in anyone’s budget….

          • Andy Saunders

            Solar doesn’t have to be exactly where the roofs are. Plenty of insolation not too far from transmission infrastructure.

      • Craig Allen

        Ah but it does reflect on what can be done elsewhere. It’s a microcosm in which all the technologies are being tested and proven for all the world to see. For this reason South Australia is incredibly important right now – having the capacity to exert astounding influence globally. SA will prove that all nations can switch their economies to very high levels of renewables far faster that most imagine and at far lower cost. That’s why the right-wing press, conservative politicians and fossil fuel industries are desperate for it to fail. And why they have been running such ridiculous disinformation campaigns against it.

        • JoeR_AUS

          Technology yes but what SA does has no relevance to NSW esp Sydney see other reply below

          Now think what any Federal Government needs to cough up for NSW which means less in other States…

          • Mike Westerman

            Not a problem really – there is >3GW of transmission capacity from the Snowy to Sydney presently, with a further 240MW in the Shoalhaven of pumped hydro, which was always planned to be doubled (ie waterways ready for that). So right now NSW could be installing a lot more RE to better leverage the output of the Snowy and Shoalhaven. PHES schemes could be economically developed at Brown Mtn in the south and near Armidale in the north, outside of national parks, to provide a further 4GW, 30GWh of storage. There is no excuse for NSW dragging the chain.

            All this quite apart from what the Feds do with Snowy 2…

          • Andy Saunders

            Disagree. Sure NSW is in a different environment than SA, but electrons are electrons and SA is showing what’s possible. SA is unique in that it is weakly connected to the remainder of the NEM and is at the fringe, so unlike say Denmark which is strongly interconnected with the Nordic and German grids it has to solve it’s own problems.

            They do seem on the right track, although I’m sure will have the occasional stumble (eg hydrogen in my opinion is a bit iffy).

      • Joe

        …Sydney increase by 1 million in 3 years…when was that exactly?

  • SA_Jack

    What I find most encouraging about the SA State Government’s approach to renewables is the multi-fronted approach. Not content to simply wave around an ” I luv renewables” flag they have pursued:
    1. renewable generation targets
    2. storage capacity targets and initiatives
    3. encouraging and supporting major electricity consumers to invest in self-generation and storage
    4. embraced and pushed the concept of virtually connected and coordinated generation and storage
    5. invested generously across a diverse range of small-scale renewable initiatives such as green hydrogen production, bioenergy storage and pumped hydro
    6. have supported and promoted local solar and battery manufacturers and producers recognising the indirect local jobs creation that is to result from our states uptake of renewable projects
    7. understand that our electricity market is highly flawed and in many respects a barrier to entry for new energy generation and competition
    It takes guts to fully back renewables in such a hostile media climate, It is to their credit that they have remained steadfast

    • solarguy

      Yes brilliant isn’t it . Go Jay!

  • Peter F

    If private installations of batteries are counted they will only need to make sure Solar Reserve and one of the proposed pumped hydro plants gets up to make their 750 MW. Alternatively they could easily have 750 MW of pumped hydro and 750 MW of other storage by 2025. With 2-3 GW of solar and 2.5 GW of wind, they could actually be net zero FF. i.e. their renewable generation will be equivalent to their current power demand.

  • itdoesntaddup

    Giving power output alone is almost meaningless. How about the GWh target? How does it break down between 10 minutes of grid response (70MW of the Tesla battery) and more serious storage?

    I don;t think they’ve done their sums. Just picked numbers out of thin air because they sound good. Bit like M Hulot in France, who announced he was going to make big cuts in nuclear when he was appointed energy minister. He’s been back pedalling ever since.

  • phillyc

    There is no mention of MWh only MW. So, from that I would expect that they want 75% from renewables and 25% from renewables supplied storage. I think they mean that at any one time it’s possible to have 100% of demand supplied by renewables. It would add clarity if they were clearer and stated a MWh or GWh value. How many GWh / TWh does SA use annually?