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SA charges into the future with new battery

Move over Tesla, there’s room for more than one big battery down in South Australia.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced it will provide support for a new large-scale energy storage project on the Yorke Peninsula. According to ARENA, it will be the first grid-scale battery to be designed, built and commercially operated in Australia.

Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said ARENA will provide up to $12 million in funding towards the 30 megawatt/8 megawatt-hour battery. The investment will help to deliver affordable and reliable energy as Australia transitions to a lower emissions future, Mr Frydenberg said.

The new Energy Storage for Commercial Renewable Integration (ESCRI) project is expected to be operational by February 2018.

The South Australian Government is building the world’s largest battery with Tesla at Neoen’s Hornsdale 3 wind farm, which is due to be completed by the time summer starts this year. Consolidated Power Projects was named as the engineering and construction provider for the project.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the new ARENA-backed project will benefit both the energy storage sector and everyday Australians struggling with the rising cost of energy.

“The new battery project will support the security and reliability of the energy system. Pioneering projects such as this will be able to unlock the full potential of home grown renewable energy,” Mr Thornton said.

“The exciting thing is that this is just the beginning of a transformation in the way we produce, deliver and think about energy in this country. The Clean Energy Council has produced a comprehensive policy paper with practical ways to unlock the potential of energy storage.”

The Yorke Peninsula battery will have three key roles: Provide backup power in the nearby area, supply network frequency security services and showcase its ability to provide power on a national scale.

The $30 million dollar battery will be owned by transmission provider ElectraNet and leased to a major energy retailer.

Energy storage has been a major priority of the Clean Energy Council’s work over the last three years. As well as the policy work mentioned earlier, the Clean Energy Council has developed and updated Australia’s first installation guidelines for installers and commissioned CSIRO to conduct the first major national study of batteries and safety.

More information on energy storage can be found on our website.