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SA Govt turns to batteries to power state

In the wake of energy supply problems, the South Australian Government has opened a two-week Expression of Interest period to attract national and international companies interested in building what they say will be Australia’s  largest grid-scale battery.  

The project, to be financed by South Australia’s newly-created $150 million Renewable Technology Fund, will seek to have bidders provider a battery that must have a capacity of approximately 100MW and be operational in time for next summer.

The private sector will own, operate and maintain the battery which will be connected to the South Australian power grid and help store renewable energy from the wind and the sun and provide the storage capacity needed at times of peak demand.

Billed as Australia’s largest grid-scale battery, the battery to be built in South Australia, is part of the state government’s $550 million energy plan for South Australia.

Under the plan, the Renewable Technology Fund will provide $75 million in grants and $75 million in loans to eligible projects to support private innovative companies and entrepreneurs.

The fund will also be available for other large-scale renewable projects including solar, thermal, biomass, hydrogen and pumped hydro.

Announcing the battery project, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said the plan was to “take charge of South Australia’s energy future starts now, and we mean it”.

“In recent days, we’ve seen South Australia attract international attention for our world-leading approach to next-generation of renewable technology.

“Over the next fortnight, we’ll test the market to hear what national and international companies have to offer. Building Australia’s largest grid-scale battery will help build our reputation for high-tech industries.”

According to Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis, the grid-scale battery will modernise South Australia’s energy grid and begin the transformation to the next generation of renewable energy technologies.

“Introducing grid-scale batteries mean renewable energy can be stored 24 hours, 7 days a week. If the wind is blowing in the middle of the night, we can use that power when people wake up."


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).