A competitive funding round worth A$100 million (£53.5m) has been announced to support next generation grid-scale batteries in Australia. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will provide the funding to new battery energy storage projects of 70 MW or larger capacity that are equipped with advanced inverters to support the grid. Funding will also be available for existing grid-scale batteries seeking to retrofit advanced inverter capability. Advanced inverters enable grid scale batteries to provide the system stability services traditionally provided by coal or gas generation.
At least three projects are expected to be supported in the latest funding round, with a maximum grant of A$35 million per per project. ARENA CEO Darren Miller said: “Grid-scale batteries and other types of energy storage technology will be vital to support our future electricity system powered by renewables. This funding round will demonstrate the role of advanced inverters in grid-scale batteries to provide system stability, facilitating a more efficient transition and accelerate the uptake of renewable generation.
“We’ve seen promising signs that advanced inverters can support system stability but it is clear that public sector investment is still needed to prove the technology at scale. We’re confident that ARENA funding will help drive the uptake of this technology and provide valuable lessons that will benefit the industry as a whole.”