S.A. provides funds for four "next wave" energy storage projects | RenewEconomy

S.A. provides funds for four “next wave” energy storage projects

South Australia chooses battery storage, hydrogen and thermal storage for demonstration projects at remote mines, distribution centres and waste plants.

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South Australia has announced the first winners of its “next wave” energy storage tender, with four different projects to get a total of $8 million funding through the $150 million Renewable Technology Fund.

The projects include lithium ion battery storage, flow batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and thermal storage, and will be built in a range of facilities from remote mines to manufacturing plants and distribution centres.

The announcement comes ahead of the formal opening on Friday of the Tesla big battery at the Hornsdale wind farm, a 100MW/129MWh facility which has been partially funded through the RTF, established as part of the state government’s response to the blackout last September.

The four projects chosen from more than 80 different proposals are:

Planet Ark Power – Schneider Electric (solar PV and battery)

A $1.95 million grant will be made towards a $13.9 million solar PV and battery project at a major distribution centre in Adelaide’s North. The project includes a micro-grid management system optimising 5.7MW of solar PV coupled with 2.9MWh of battery storage and integrates with SA Power Networks’ Utility Distribution Management System, aims to demonstrate the “technology” of the future of the grid.

UniSA (hydrogen fuel cell)

A $3.6 million grant towards a $7.7 million project at the Mawson Lakes campus that includes hydrogen production and a 50kW hydrogen fuel cell, a 0.45MWh flow battery, 3.2 million litres of chilled water storage and 1.8MW of ground and roof mounted solar PV. The project will cut campus emissions by 35 per cent and reduce peak demand on the grid and is being deigned as a testing facility.

1414 Degrees (thermal storage)

A $1.6 million grant towards a $3.2 million thermal storage project at the Glenelg Waste Water Treatment Plant using a home grown technology being commercialised by 1414 Degrees. The project will include a 0.25MW/10MWh thermal energy storage device that holds heat generated from the combustion of biogas produced on site.


A $1 million grant towards a $2.69 million modular and relocatable solar PV and battery storage project at the Heathgate Resources Beverley mine. The project will pair 1MW of solar PV with a 1MW/0.5MWh battery, and integrate with the existing on-site gas power plant, with a view of creating a fleet of such facilities across the country.



“South Australia is a global leader in renewable energy and the world is paying attention,” Premier Jay Weatherill said in a statement.

“The incredible response to the Renewable Technology Fund and the diverse range of technologies represented in this round of funding shows how much potential exists in this industry of the future.

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the RTF projects – along with the Tesla big battery and the SolarReserve (solar tower and molten salt storage projects) was making South Australia a global hub for energy storage.

“This funding leverages significant investment in four cutting edge projects that will showcase new technologies, create jobs and reduce demand on the grid.”



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  1. Patrick Comerford 3 years ago

    It’s ironic that without last years disruption and the Turnbull governments ensuing attack on renewables quite likely none of this including Elons big battery would ever have seen the light of day.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      You are probably right. But Cometh the hour, Cometh the man is the saying. Premier Jay and Energetic Tom were two people in the right place in the defining moment. Instead of a business as usual response ( just restore everything like it was before the Tornadao event ) they asked if there wasn’t an alternative, a better way. The rest is now history being made and aren’t we loving watching it all unfold. I live in Sydney and wish we had a government with the vision of Premier Jay and Energetic Tom. Instead we have The National Party pushing for a new Coaler to be built in The Hunter…what the hell!

    • TheTransition 3 years ago

      It’s not ironic at all. Before the event, RE spruikers had been saying stuff like: “we don’t need storage, we just need more inter-connects” and “it will all just work if we build more wind and solar”. After the event, the Powers That Be finally realised that storage is an important part of the solution and needs to be costed into the network. Now we’ll have a more resilient grid.
      It’s great to see that people realise you can’t legislate around the laws of physics.
      It’s also great to see all these new and innovative ideas and technologies being embraced. I’m particularly interested in 1414.

      • neroden 3 years ago

        Well, technically we could have done it all with interconnects, but the fact is that it’s much easier and cheaper to do it with storage!

    • trackdaze 3 years ago

      Blowback to the federal governments efforts is a wonderful thing.

  2. RobertO 3 years ago

    Hi All, There is lots more of changes coming, form all different forms of generation and storage projects. The answers will fit some different places better than others, but the overall effect is that we are going RE. The only problem will be the COALition doing stupid things, new Coal power station somewhere, reliability or capacity payments to Coal power, and will include if we have a blackout RE caused it.

  3. howardpatr 3 years ago

    Try telling that story to the Chairman of AEMC, John Pierce.

    Time he retired and became an official lobbyist for gentailers.

    There is along road ahead to for the renewable energy future but it might be smoother with some meaningful changes at the AEMC.

  4. Eric Coote 3 years ago

    Democracy in action – lovely.

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