Australia targets energy storage with investment push

An Australian state plans to invest more than A$157 million (US$100 million) in energy storage projects to support its transition to renewable energy sources.

Victoria aims to reach 2.6 GW of energy storage capacity by 2030 and 6.3 GW by 2035— enough to power around half of the state’s current homes at their peak energy usage.

The Victorian government expects the targets to secure 12,700 jobs and A$1.7 billion ($1.1 billion) in investment from 2023 to 2035.

Victoria has a goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030. The state has a population of around 6.6 million people and is home to Melbourne.

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To support these targets, the government is investing A$119 million from the A$540 million Renewable Energy Zone Fund in a 125 MW battery storage facility and grid forming inverter in the Murray Renewable Energy Zone, between Bendigo and Red Cliffs.

Additionally, government leaders announced that A$38.2 million from the Energy Innovation Fund will go to four clean energy projects.

The latest EIF round will provide A$7 million for a 100 MW battery and inverter in Terang, as well as A$19.3 million for two bioenergy projects at farms in Gippsland and Barwon. Yarra Valley Water will receive A$11.9 million to install an electrolyzer to make green hydrogen using recycled water in Wollert.

Victoria is no stranger to energy storage projects.

The state is already the home to the largest battery storage facility in the Southern Hemisphere, a 300 MW/450MWh facility dubbed the “Victorian Big Battery” outside Geelong.

The Victorian Big Battery facility is made up of 210 Tesla Megapacks, two of which caught fire in 2021 during the initial installation and commissioning of the project. An investigation later determined that the fire was “most likely caused by a liquid cooling leak causing arcing in the power electronics of the Megapack’s battery modules.”

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Author: John Engel

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