Australian news, and some related international items

Malcolm Turnbull should encourage Australia’s battery energy storage industry

Battery-makers on Turnbull’s Tesla chat: ‘Give Australian companies a fair go’
Industry wants more support from federal government now prime minister has ‘taken interest in the tweets of an American billionaire’,
Guardian, , 13 Mar 17Malcolm Turnbull should encourage Australia’s battery energy storage industry now he has “taken interest in the tweets of an American billionaire”, Zen Energy chairman Ross Garnaut says.

Garnaut was referring to Elon Musk, the billionaire co-founder of electric car giant Tesla, who tweeted that Tesla could solve the power shortage issue causing price spikes and blackouts in South Australia within 100 days by installing 100-300 megawatt hours of battery storage.

Turnbull subsequently tweeted that he had phoned Musk and enjoyed a “great, in-depth” conversation.

But Australian companies had been working on large battery projects for years, Garnaut said, including one by Zen Energy in the upper gulf of South Australia which it had discussed with the market.

The core of the project would be to supply baseload renewable power to large energy users, initially in South Australia and then more broadly, Garnaut said.

 “In this Trump era, we have a world where nothing is real until an American billionaire tweets about it,” Garnaut said.

“What we’re working on is having it ready for summer, the time of greatest stress on the grid and that’s when you really need to bring all your grid to stability.

“Zen Energy has funded it all so far, and there has been a lot of technical work and economic modelling done to see what is required in the market. We have a lot of close relations with energy providers and communities as part of the development work. When it comes to investment in the large equipment, we have the support of external investors.”

Zen would manage the battery and its interaction with the grid, but the owners of the battery would be external investors, Garnaut said. The battery would absorb electricity when it was cheap and abundant on the wholesale power market, and make it available when scarce.

“The other value of the large battery is to grid stabilisations services,” he said. “We are focusing on providing 100Mwh of battery storage of energy, so it will make a substantial contribution and will be ready by summer.”…….


March 15, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, South Australia, storage

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