Government invests $20 million in large-scale energy storage

by Tiffany Paczek
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The Andrews Labor Government will invest an additional $20 million to support large-scale energy storage initiatives across Victoria, creating jobs, protecting affordability and maintaining the reliability of our energy grid.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy and Environment Lily D’Ambrosio made the announcement, which takes the Government’s total investment in energy storage to $25 million, during a tour of Tesla’s Melbourne headquarters.

“Victoria will remain a net exporter of energy, but investments like this will ensure our state stays as one of the most reliable energy producers in the world,” says Andrews.

This new funding will support energy storage companies that specialise in technologies including batteries, pumped hydro or solar thermal, partner with network businesses to boost energy storage capacity in Victoria up to 100 megawatts by the end of 2018. For example, a 20-megawatt battery could power a town the size of Bendigo or Ballarat for up to four hours during a peak demand period and avoid outages.

Andrews emphasises, “Our focus is on keeping Victoria’s diverse energy system as affordable, resilient and secure as possible, particularly during peak periods and extreme weather events.”

Storage of this size is a first for Victoria and will drive innovation in our electricity sector and modernise the network – it means more investment and more jobs.

Energy storage, micro-grids and internet-enabled technologies, coupled with renewable energy sources, can also be used to better manage energy demand, especially in peak periods.

Alongside this investment, the Government is also setting up an Energy Taskforce of Cabinet to ensure Victoria remains one of the most affordable and reliable energy systems in the world.

“Given Malcolm Turnbull’s new found interest in energy storage initiatives,” D’Ambrosio says, “and the fact that Victoria has so far received only 4 per cent of ARENA’s total national funding, we call on Mr Turnbull to match our state’s investment in energy storage.

Image copyright: gyn9037 / 123RF Stock Photo

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