Victoria has announced that it is seeking two 20MW battery storage installations – with a total of 100MWH of storage – to be located in the western part of the state where network strength is low.
The announcement came following an exceptionally strong market response to its call for expressions of interest – that attracted more than 100 enquiries – and as it prepares to ramp up its state-based target of reaching 40 per cent renewable energy by 2025.
Earlier this year the Andrews Labor Government announced $25 million to support large-scale energy storage, and a total of 100MW of battery storage, to enhance the reliability of its grid and unlock economic growth in areas experiencing network constraints.
It ran two expressions of interest processes – one specifically for a 20MW/80MWh facility in western Victoria and another more general one for up to 100MW of energy storage.
It has now refined its needs and is now formally looking for two large scale battery storage installations – both of 20MW, with a total of 100MWh – to be in place by January next year, when the summer peak is expected.
It will be the first to be experienced without the Hazelwood brown coal generator, and although the Australian Energy Market Operator says there is enough capacity, state government – particularly those with high renewable energy ambitions – do not want to be taking any chances.
South Australia is also looking for 100MW of battery installations, with at least one hour of storage, to be in place by summer. It received 90 expressions of interest, which are still being assessed before the government goes to formal tender.
The Northern Territory Labor government – which also has a 50 per cent renewable energy target – is also due to decide soon on the results of a tender for a 5MW battery storage system, with up to one hour storage, to reduce its reliance on gas generation in Alice Springs.
“Detailed proposals are being sought to providetwo 20MW batteries to be fully deployed by January 2018, providing storage capacity of at least 100MWh,” the Victoria government said in a statement on Thursday.
“For example, a 20MW battery could power a town the size of Bendigo or Ballarat for up to four hours during a peak demand period and avoid outages.”
It is encouraging applicants to seek funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in parallel to the Victorian initiative, “to drive even further investment in new energy technology and energy system reliability in Victoria.”
Acting minister for energy, environment and climate change Lisa Neville said the government was looking to support projects that integrated both existing and new renewable energy generation, with storage, distribution and management technologies.
“Large scale energy battery storage will improve the reliability of Victoria’s energy grid and enhance energy security. We are encouraging significant local and international investment opportunities for businesses to work together in modernising our energy system.”
Full guidelines for applicants will be available on 1 May 2017 here.