Wednesday 20 November 2019
Two Federal Government Agencies are providing support for a fifty per cent expansion of South Australia’s ‘big battery’ at Jamestown
The Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the expansion will provide futher assistance in “firming up” our ever increasing supplies of intermittent electricity.
“Apart from roof-top solar there are no longer any public subsidies for the construction of new renewable energy projects and yet a lage number of companies are still investing”, Mr Ramsey said.
“This is telling us that the most economic form of new generation in SA is renewable, but the market is not currently placing a high enough premium on reliability which is why we as a government are are supporting pumped hydro, gas peaking and battery projects to ensure the grid can still deliver electricity when output from renewables is low or non-existent.”
“Batteries are clearly the best technology to address the issue of frequency modulation as they can respond instantly to rapid generation variations. Hhowever at this stage they are still far too expensive for “deep storage”, that is the ability to back up the system for hours and days rather than one or two hours.”
“The $70 million project will showcase the potential for grid scale batteries to provide ‘virtual’ inertia, which involves a contribution to the capability of the power system to resist changes in frequency and unlock new revenue streams and commercial pathways for other batteries”, Mr Ramsey said. “It will provide greater grid reliability which in turn will reduce energy costs for South Australian families and businesses.”
“Few would know that the over-abundance of intermittent electricity sources in SA has forced the the Australian Energy Market Operator to limit contributions into the grid from solar PV and wind generation. They will work with Neoen to test the potential for the battery to improve grid security sufficiently to allow for a greater contribution from the renewable sources.”
Neoen Australia has announced the 100MW (129MWh) Tesla-built battery’s capacity will be increased by 50MW (64.5MWh). Mr Ramsey clarified these figures by explaining that the expanded battery will be able to provide a maximum of 150MW to the grid for one hour and eighteen minutes or at a lesser rate for a longer period.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has committed up to $50 million in project finance and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing an $8 million grant.
The South Australian Government’s Grid Scale Storage Fund will also contribute $15 million over 5 years to this project.
Mr Ramsey said the Government was leading a reform program of practical initiatives to lower prices while keeping the lights on including the $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund, and the Retailer Reliability Obligation which requires energy retailers to have enough dispatchable generation in the market to keep the lights on.
For more information on the Government’s framework on energy and emissions reduction visit energy.gov.au/energy-policy-blueprint-fair-deal-energy
Media Contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 8633 1744