Eight large-scale batteries to store renewable energy will be built around Australia to support the grid and help keep energy prices down, the federal government says.
The government-owned Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will provide $176 million in funding to the projects, Energy Minister Chris Bowen announced on Saturday.
The government estimates the total value of the projects at $2.7 billion.
It is estimated the batteries will lead to a tenfold increase in storage capacity, with Mr Bowen saying it would revitalise the energy market.
“Some people say the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow and that’s true, but we can store renewable energy for when we need it,” he told reporters outside the Transgrid battery in Western Sydney.
The batteries will come online by 2025 and together would be big enough to power all of Tasmania for about three hours.
Three will be in Victoria – at Gnarwarre, Moorabool and Mortlake – while one will be at Liddell in NSW.
Queensland will be home to two, at Mount Fox and Western Downs, while South Australia will also have two, at Bungama and Blyth.
They range from 200-300 megawatts each and will have grid-forming inverter technology, which provides stability to the grid usually offered through coal and gas.
Mr Bowen said the projects would be some of the biggest batteries rolled out in Australia in the near future.
Cleaner, greener, cheaper
“Renewable energy is the cheapest form of energy, the more renewable energy we have in the system, the cheaper bills will be,” he said.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the batteries could underpin the transition to renewable energy in Australia.
“This pipeline of grid-forming projects will help move us closer to an electricity grid that can support 100 per cent renewable energy in the (National Energy Market),” he said.
It came as the federal government unveiled further details about 58 community batteries to be rolled out in regional and urban areas, worth up to $500,000 each.
Electricity providers will use them to store energy generated by solar panels on residential homes, which could then be used by other nearby households.
An extra 342 community batteries will be rolled out after consultation.
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