According to ARENA, at least three projects will be supported by the funding, with a maximum of AUD 35 million available for each project.
Advanced inverters allow more accurate monitoring and communication of grid status, allowing grid-scale batteries to provide system stability services that traditionally had to be provided by synchronous generation like coal or natural gas. As a result, the network could be operated with a higher proportion of variable renewable energies.
The new grant is available for new construction projects of large battery storage systems (LSBS), existing grid-scale batteries for retrofitting advanced inverter capacities and projects that want to expand an existing LSBS system by building a new LSBS system.
The battery must have a capacity of at least 70 megawatts (MW) and operate on the National Electricity Market (NEM) or Western Australia's wholesale electricity market.
Pinsent Masons Renewable Energy Expert George Varma said, “Investing in inverter and battery storage technology development appears to be a sector that ARENA is investing in to fuel growth and level the peaks and troughs in electricity prices caused by the influx of renewable energies at the certain times. "
“Grid stabilization is a central issue that the electricity market has to grapple with, as the market penetration of renewable energies is increasing. In order to achieve the country's energy transition goals, ways must be found to efficiently and effectively store excess energy generated during peak production times and to feed this electricity back into the grid when renewable energy production is weak at night. Developing energy storage capacities will also help us provide green electricity to remote communities in a cost-effective way, ”he said.
The expression of interest for the scholarship begins in February and ends on March 31, 2022. Successful applicants are encouraged to submit a detailed submission later in the year.