Australia Capital Territory government lauds role of batteries in renewables transition

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Neoen's existing 150MW Hornsdale Power Reserve battery, paired with a wind farm, in Australia. Image: Neoen.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government has lauded the role large-scale batteries will play in the country’s energy transition, having supported projects which will see energy storage project deployed in the country.

Yesterday the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) awarded 200MW of renewable energy capacity contracts in a reverse auction which delivered “significantly lower prices” than previous rounds.

Prices averaging less that AU$50 (US$36.07) per MWh were witnessed within the tender, down by about a third on the cost of contracts in the previous auction.

Both of the winning developers, which won 100MW wind power contracts each, are building their renewable energy capacity elsewhere in Australia but will build large-scale batteries at sites of exact location to be determined, to help support the ACT grid, in or near the national capital, Canberra. The ACT is targeting becoming a 100% renewable energy jurisdiction with net zero emissions by 2045.

“The ACT Government has today announced the two successful bids under the latest round of the Government’s renewable electricity ‘reverse auction’. This will help Canberra maintain 100% renewable electricity into the next decade, see the construction of two large-scale batteries in Canberra, and deliver the best pricing outcome for residents in the programme’s history,” ACT climate change and sustainability minister Shane Rattenbury said.

“The batteries will help support the Territory’s own grid, particularly providing power to help avoid blackouts during periods of high demand and when large fossil fuel generators fail in heatwave conditions. These big batteries mean that our small jurisdiction is again punching above our weight when it comes to real climate action.”

Long-term contracts at around AU$50 per MWh

France-headquartered renewable energy project developer Neoen has continued its run of success in Australia, which so far has included developing the famous Hornsdale Power Reserve project in South Australia with technology provider Tesla. Neoen was handed a 10-year contract to deliver 100MW of wind energy, from Stage 1 of its Goyder South Wind Farm across the country in South Australia.

The wind farm is part of the ambitious Goyder Renewables Zone project, which is planned to include 400MW of wind generation, 200MW of solar PV and 300MW of battery storage over five separate stages. It is planned to begin construction in 2022. Neoen said that its battery in Canberra meanwhile will be at least 50MW capacity.

This story is adapted from an original version first published on sister title Energy-Storage.news. For more on this story, click here.

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